On this podcast we talk about habits and why they’re so important.
We open it up with a quote from Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” That’s a powerful quote and it perfectly sets the framework for this episode.
We like to think we are something more than we are or something different. But all we really are is the things we do daily.
We talk about why this is such a long process and why we can only really change one thing at a time.
I go into the reason the New Year’s resolutions always fail before explaining why they never had a chance to succeed to begin with.
I talk about how forming a new habit is the process of turning a conscious act into a sub-conscious act
Then I give you an analogy to help paint the picture of the process that is forming a new habit
And then I introduce the most important concept of the podcast: Cue + Routine = Reward. I repeat this over and over again throughout the podcast because it bears remembering. This is from the book, The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg and it’s a great book that I highly recommend. You can buy it here.
This loop of Cue + Routine = Reward is how the brain forms habits and commits them to the subconscious. And all 3 ingredients need to be there for you to be successful.
Speaking of ingredients, there’s one more necessary ingredient, and that’s belief. You must believe you can do something before you actually do it.
Duhigg also presents this concept of the keystone habit. This is that one habit you have that if you changed would impact your entire life. We all have keystone habits and most of us have a good idea what ours are.
The last topic we discuss is how long it takes to form a habit. This is a contentious topic with no concrete answer. What I can tell you for sure is that the 21 day maxim most of us have heard is unequivocally false. That was purported by a cosmetic surgeon in the 1960’s and had no evidence to back it up.
A better number would be 66 days, which was the number reported by researchers at the University College London in a 2009 study. In this study they found the average time to form a habit to be 66 days, but this data was self-reported and the number of participants was low.
Finally, in this week’s Call-To-Action we attempt to change a keystone habit using the Cue + Routine = Reward loop. We identify our keystone habit and it’s cue, we then add our new routine and acknowledge the reward it gives us. Through repetition and belief we can alter this habit.
We leave this podcast with another quote, this one by John C. Maxwell: “You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” John is an author and professional speaker on leadership. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter.
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