Prevent “oops I forgot” and other excuses, and make your habits last indefinitely.
Scenario #1: The marketing team at Procter and Gamble investigates videos of people making their beds. They attempt to figure out how to sell a new product called Febreze, which was on track to be the greatest flops in their company history. Suddenly, one of the team members detects a nearly imperceptible pattern. With a slight shift in marketing, Febreze goes on to earn a billion dollars a year.
Scenario #2: A young lady made a remarkable transformation. Over the past two years, she has transformed her life is almost every aspect. She has quit smoking, took part and completed a marathon. She has also been promoted at work. Neurologists investigated and realised that the patterns inside her brain has fundamentally changed.
What do these two scenarios have in common? Success was achieved by focusing on the patterns that shape and affect every aspect of our lives.
HABIT helped the transformation.
The Power of HABIT
Written by Pulitzer prize-winning reporter and writer, Charles Huhigg, the 2012 New York Times bestseller The Power of Habit describes several examples of the roles of habits in individuals, organisation, as well as societies, and follows up with methods to recognise and consciously direct the things that really control our behaviour and our results.
I will dedicate several blog posts to uncover the chapters one by one, with a key purpose in mind. On why it is important to form HABITS that will guide us and lead us to live a fulfilling life, or what I term as a #wellaholic life.
CHAPTER ONE: How Habits Work
The first story touched on Eugene Pauly, a 71-year-old man who lost part of the lobe of his brain (medial temporal lobe) due to a viral infection. The rest of Eugene's brain was perfectly intact, and he had no problem recounting or recalling anything that happened before 1960. However, he suffered a total short-term memory loss, and was unable to retain any knowledge of any new event or events for more than a minute. He constantly repeated his words and actions from a minute ago. Eugene could not recognise his family nor his friends, and he couldn't also tell where his bedroom was located, or how to get to the nearby supermarket.
However, in an effort to ensure that Eugene got some exercise to keep him healthy, his wife started to take him to walks around the block on a daily basis. One day, Eugene disappeared, and his wife went into panic mode, only to realise that Eugene showed up fifteen minutes later. While Eugene was unable to draw a map of his block or even point to where his house was, he was able to take that same walk around the block every day.
Eugene has demonstrated what scientists had suspected but never before proved; that habits are formed and operate entirely separately from the part of the brain responsible for memory. Later tests revealed that we learn and make unconscious choices without having to remember anything about the lesson or about decision-making.
Your brain is constantly seeking new ways to save effort.
As a result, it is always "rearranging" sequences of actions into automatic routines. Backing out of the driveway, for example requires over a dozen actions, but many of us do it daily without a second thought.
The HABIT Loop
The habit process consists of a three-step loop:
As part of the #wellaholic movement, I am currently exploring how to leverage the power of Gamification and Group Responsibility to form habits that stick. That has led me to HABITICA, a free habit building and productivity app that treats our real life like a game. With in-game rewards and punishment to motivate you and make you stick to your dailies and to-do tasks. While I am "beta-testing" this application for #wellaholic, I would like to invite anyone who would like to make a conscious attempt to form a habit (such as sticking to the #30days60secCoreChallenge and #WellaholicAbRoller challenge) to join us. Go to HABITICA, create a free account and contact me - I would gladly add you to our party, and let's create good habits and slay the monsters!
My name is Willie, and I like to muse about things. Things related to me are Wellaholic.