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Habits

Building and controlling that habits that unconsciously shape almost half our behavior

Habits have three basic parts: a cue, an action, and a reward. Repeating these three parts repeatedly makes an action ingrained in one’s mind until it happens automatically. Recognizing and controlling habits means seeing these three parts in action and knowing how to handle them.

Below are ways to create new habits and remove bad ones.

Make Cues More Visible and Accessible

Habits start with cues, so building new habits relies most on setting up cues. This means making the cues to start them as easily accessible as possible.

Add Extra Friction for Bad Habits

On the flipside of the above tip, the cues for bag habits should be make inconvenient (but not totally impossible). The harder it is to find or respond to a cue, the weaker it gets and less likely it is to happen. They can still be called on if needed, but never enough to get in the way of new habits.

Stack New Habits on Existing Ones

Some new habits can be combined with others so they’re easier to build. This is good for enhancing neutral habits, or lessoning the effects of several bad habits.

Keep Track of Habit Progress

Habits takes a long time to build up or tear down. Keeping track of the ups and downs in building said habits helps in the long haul. It visualizes progress and creates a stronger feeling of committment to creating change.