The Power Of Habit by Charles Duhigg is one of the most popular habits-changing/forming books on Amazon/Goodreads. The research found that up to 40 percent of our daily actions are based on habit. If we could change our habits, we would change our lives. If you want to stop waiting till the last minute to get work done or go to the gym, you want to break an addiction like smoking. It all comes down to habits. Routines that we all fall into and find nearly impossible to break or start.
A little advice like the habits of societies and this look at several Firestone starts with an exciting case of an Alzheimer’s patient. It is a disease in which the patient starts forgetting things. So the scientists started the research to find out about habits. That’s why the very first research people talking about habits was published. Since then, several days or weeks of notice have discussed the benefits of eating habits.
6 Sparknotes From The Power Of Habit Book
This article will learn 6 SparkNotes from “The Power of Habit.” He shares some priceless advice and knowledge about how habits work and change them. If you want control over your habits to become a more productive and better person, read this article to the end. Let’s start!
1. Understand the habit loop
Every habit is a culmination of a three-step process called the habit loop.
- First, there is the cue, something that triggers you into your habit. A cue can be a location, time, emotional state, other people, or something immediately preceding the auction.
- Step two is the routine, the action you take once the cue happens.
- Lastly, there’s the reward, which is why the habit exists in the first place.
If your bad habit is playing video games, your cue might be seeing gameplay somewhere. Your routine would be playing the video game, and your reward would be the dopamine rush you get over time. This loop becomes more and more automatic. The cue and reward become intertwined until a powerful sense of anticipation and craving emerges. Eventually, a habit is born.
When a habit emerges, the brain no longer works so hard and makes decisions. So unless you deliberately fight a habit or find new routines, the pattern will unfold automatically. It is because our brains are constantly looking for ways to save effort. Habits are as much as memory, and the reason is at the root of how we behave.
Notes: We might not remember the experiences that create our habits, but once they are lodged within our brains, they influence how we act. Often without our realization, habits never truly disappear. It is why relapses happen. If you find yourself cheating on a diet, it’s because a cue triggers your bad habit.
2. Create a new habit
The second lesson is that cues typically fall into five categories: time, location, preceding event, emotional state, and others.
Time is probably the most common way to trigger a new habit. Common morning habits are just one example. You may also notice that you mindlessly repeat certain tasks at different points during the day, such as getting a snack simultaneously. Time-based cues can also be used to stick with routines repeatedly.
- The most effective way to use this cue is to use a new location to build new habits. It gives you a blank slate to work with, and you won’t have to overcome any pre-existing triggers. It is why having an office space is effective for getting work done.
- Preceding events are when your phone buzzes, so you check your text messages or when the Facebook notification bar lights up, and you click on it. A productive way to use this is to stack habits on top of each other.
- Although emotions are common cues for behavior, they’re harder to control and use for building good habits. If you want emotion to trigger a positive habit, you need to be consciously aware of the emotion as you’re experiencing it. If you want to increase your emotional awareness, I would recommend meditating.
- Finally, it’s probably no surprise that the people you associate with can play a role in your habits and behaviors. The best way to use this cue is to surround yourself with people with the habits you want to have.
If the people around you are successful and productive, you’re likely to end up the same way.
Notes: Kicking a bad habit is hard because you develop a craving for the reward at the end of the habit loop. The golden rule of changing any habit is not resisting craving but redirecting it. Keep the same cues and rewards that change the routine due to that craving.
3. Focus on the cue and reward
Rather than beating yourself up for not going to the gym, figure out a way to strengthen the cue or reward to ensure the habit. Have a specific time you go to the gym and have your gym bag in the car, so when you get out of work, it serves as a reminder to go to the gym. The more cues, the better.
- If the feeling of a great pump isn’t enough of a reward for you, have a healthy and delicious meal after your workout. When it comes to negative habits like smoking, eating unhealthy foods, or making bad decisions, identify the cue and remove it. If a certain group of people negatively influences you, you must cut them out. For many heavy drinkers, staying away from their old drinking buddies has helped them stay sober.
Notes: You can never truly extinguish bad habits. Rather, to change a habit. You must keep the old you and deliver the old reward, but insert a new routine. Almost any behavior can be transformed if the cue and reward stay the same. Many people fail to break a bad habit because they don’t identify the cue that triggers a specific routine. After identifying the cue, you can replace the following routine with something more productive.
4. Watch out for cravings
Over time, people will crave the reward upon the cue in a long-established habit. The spike of dopamine that occurs in the brain when the reward takes place starts to happen right after the cue. It makes the habit automatic. For negative habits, It’s important to establish a plan of action for when an unavoidable cue happens: triggering that craving. Craving is what may cues and rewards work. The craving is what powers the habit loop.
First, you want to find a simple and obvious cue. Then you want to define the reward habits that create neurological cravings. As we associate cues with certain rewards, a subconscious craving emerges in the brain that starts the habit loop. Spinning a cue and a reward on their own aren’t enough for a new habit to last. Only when your brain starts expecting the reward, craving the endorphins will it become automatic to lace up your jogging shoes each morning.
Notes: In addition to triggering a routine, the cue must also trigger a craving for the reward. Craving is what drives habits, not the reward. Also, figuring out how to spark a craving makes creating a new habit easier.
5. Think about Keystone Habits
Some habits have the power to start a chain reaction and change other habits. In other words, some matter more than others and remaking businesses and lives. These keystone habits can influence how people work, eat, play, live, spend and communicate. Keystone habits start a process that transforms everything.
Keystone Habits are the major habits you form that trickle down to others. If you have a terrible diet, that probably leads you to be lazy, procrastinate, keep you up late, and so on. Conversely, exercising is one of the best keystone habits you can ever have. Research shows you get a better sleep when you form a habit of exercising. You naturally want to clean up your diet, boost your metabolism, give you more energy throughout the day, and have a more positive attitude.
Small wins are part of how keystone habits create widespread changes. Once a small win has been accomplished, there’s momentum for another small win to be created. It creates a snowball effect, and you’ll be convinced that bigger accomplishments are within reach over time. The habits that matter the most are the ones that make other patterns.
Notes: Willpower is the most important keystone habit, but it is also inconsistent. The following habit is a key part of our lives and a key part of organizations and companies. All habits comprise a cue routine reward loop; the easiest way to change this is to substitute the routine with something else. Achieving lasting change in life is difficult, but it can be done by focusing on important keystone habits such as willpower.
6. Willpower trumps everything
Willpower is the single most important keystone habit for individual success. If you want to do something that requires willpower, like going for a run after work, you have to conserve your willpower muscle during the day. If you use it up to early on tedious tasks like writing emails or filling out boring forms, all the strength will be gone by the time you get home. There was an experiment where people were signed up for a money management program.
These tactics and tricks to hack your brain means nothing if you lack the willpower to execute. Willpower might sound like fluff or someone telling you to work harder, But it’s not. In the book, Charles Duhigg discusses a study that tried to predict young students’ academic success. The study found that measuring a student’s willpower was twice as effective at predicting academic success as measuring IQ.
Notes: As people strengthen their willpower muscles in one part of their lives, that strength spills over into what they ate or how hard they worked. Once willpower becomes stronger, it touches every aspect of your life. Willpower becomes a habit by choosing a certain behavior ahead of time and following that routine when an inflection point arrives.
Belief is easier when it occurs within a community. A new routine can be inserted if we keep the same cue and reward. But that’s not enough for a habit to stay changed. People must believe change is possible, and most often, that belief only emerges with the help of a group.
So if you want to change your habit, your odds of success increase dramatically. When you commit to changing as part of a group, it’ll be easier to believe you can do it. If it works for someone else, it can work for you.
Download: The power of habit sparknotes pdf
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