The Science Behind Creating A Habit

Are you looking to kick off the year with a new good habit? Maybe you need to ditch some bad ones? Have no fear, Elite (and science!) are here to help.

You see, habits are tough. Some are good, like getting to the the gym once a day. Some are bad…like eating 6 cookies at a time when you go into the office break room. But there are scientific ways to get into the swing of good new habits and break bad ones.

In the video linked below, Vlogger Thomas Frank discusses 5 points from the book, “The Power of Habit” which details the process behind creating, breaking, and what comprises a habit.

The, ‘habit loop’ is the 3 part process of the cue (also known as the trigger), the routine, and the reward.

Step 1 – Cue

So the cue happens when you see or hear something that makes you want to perform your habit. This could be the break room that holds the cookies you always eat, or this could be the sound of your alarm in the morning telling you it’s time to get up and workout. When it comes to habits, that trigger is super important. If you need to kick a bad behavior—cut out the trigger. If you’re looking to establish a good new behavior, make sure you’re triggered properly.

Step 2 – Routine

The routine is just the act of performing your habit, so that’s simply eating the cookie or hitting the gym. Believe it or not, this is not what makes your brain happy. Crazy but true, the reward part is where we find the most interesting science behind a habit.

Step 3 – Reward

The reward is the spike of endorphins released into your brain after you’ve performed your habit. The happiness or calm you may feel after the cookies, or the happiness and energy you get after a good workout. However, as stated in the video above, over time your brain will release the endorphins when you’re triggered, hence making your trigger the most important step in habit forming or breaking.

So what’s the big takeaway? The trigger. Make sure that you’re doing everything you can to establish a good trigger for new and healthy behaviors, or staying away from triggers that cause you to partake in bad behaviors.

And don’t worry, you’ve got this. But, we can help!

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