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Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you changed just one of your bad habits? What if you could change more than just one bad habit? How different could your life possibly be? Would you be more successful, would you be happier or fitter and healthier? Keep reading to find out how you can change your life by changing your habits.
Most of us think that something major needs to happen in order for us to break away from bad habits. Whether it is an illness to push us to eat better and exercise more, or whether we are at the end of a relationship and must knee jerk ourselves into living a more fulfilled life.
Thankfully it can be something as simple as walking home from work and just deciding we want to change a bad habit permanently. Life changing decisions don't have to come from life changing events, they can be as simple as deciding what to have for dinner tonight. Why? Because according to scientific research and statistical data, Charles Duhigg author of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change, research shows that our brains are hardwired for habits.
The way habits work according to Charles, is they first need a cue, a trigger of some sort to kick-start the habit, and then a reward to feel the desire and satisfaction of having done the habit. You see the cue is what will tick the brain into realising the start of the habit and the reward will be its justification of it. However, this goes both ways, bad habits also have cues and rewards, you just have to figure out what they are.
You see humans thrive on habit, it's the body's natural mechanical process. Once the body learns a particular action it begins to use the brain less and less, but the habit becomes almost instinctual. Just think about driving a car or riding a bike, these habits are engrained within us.
The fascinating thing about this is we can use it to our advantage to change our lives for the better. We can eliminate bad habits and replace them with good habits. It does not even take will power to do this, it just takes a little brain training and a simple change of cues and rewards.
Suppose you want to make a daily habit of going to the gym. Forcing yourself to go will only reinforce the negative of not wanting to go, so eventually you will stop going. You don't even have to love going to the gym, you just want it to become instinctual and a habitual routine. So the best way to start is to figure out what is stopping you from going in the first place?
- Do you turn on the TV straight after work?
If so make a habit to have your gym bag ready in your car or at the door as soon as you return home.
- Do you have a favourite TV show that you like to watch straight after work?
If so watch it on your phone whilst working out, or record it, or better yet - go to the gym in the morning.
- Do you get bored at the gym?
If so go to classes instead or join a running club in your area.
Your reward for going to the gym can simply be the endorphin rush you feel from working out or maybe drinking a smoothie straight after.
Once you can see what your bad habits are, you will start to see which cues you set off that then reinforces those habits going. Then you can change the bad habits and replace cues for good habits.
So here it is, expert advice on how you can change you life by simply changing your habits. Try it today and track your progress over the next 30 days to see the real impact it will have on your life.
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Check out the video below from author Charles Duhigg.