Guide How To Set Yourself FREE! small life reminders for BIG change

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What you crave is not the habit itself but the change in state it delivers. You do not crave smoking a cigarette, you crave the feeling of relief it provides. You are not motivated by brushing your teeth but rather by the feeling of a clean mouth. You do not want to turn on the television, you want to be entertained. Every craving is linked to a desire to change your internal state. This is an important point that we will discuss in detail later. Cravings differ from person to person. In theory, any piece of information could trigger a craving, but in practice, people are not motivated by the same cues.

For a gambler, the sound of slot machines can be a potent trigger that sparks an intense wave of desire. For someone who rarely gambles, the jingles and chimes of the casino are just background noise. Cues are meaningless until they are interpreted.

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The thoughts, feelings, and emotions of the observer are what transform a cue into a craving. The third step is the response. The response is the actual habit you perform, which can take the form of a thought or an action. Whether a response occurs depends on how motivated you are and how much friction is associated with the behavior. Your response also depends on your ability. It sounds simple, but a habit can occur only if you are capable of doing it.

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Finally, the response delivers a reward. Rewards are the end goal of every habit. The cue is about noticing the reward. The craving is about wanting the reward. The response is about obtaining the reward. We chase rewards because they serve two purposes: 1 they satisfy us and 2 they teach us. The first purpose of rewards is to satisfy your craving. Yes, rewards provide benefits on their own. Food and water deliver the energy you need to survive.

Getting a promotion brings more money and respect. Getting in shape improves your health and your dating prospects. But the more immediate benefit is that rewards satisfy your craving to eat or to gain status or to win approval. At least for a moment, rewards deliver contentment and relief from craving. Second, rewards teach us which actions are worth remembering in the future. Your brain is a reward detector. As you go about your life, your sensory nervous system is continuously monitoring which actions satisfy your desires and deliver pleasure.

Feelings of pleasure and disappointment are part of the feedback mechanism that helps your brain distinguish useful actions from useless ones. If a behavior is insufficient in any of the four stages, it will not become a habit. Eliminate the cue and your habit will never start.


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Without the first three steps, a behavior will not occur. Without all four, a behavior will not be repeated. In summary, the cue triggers a craving, which motivates a response, which provides a reward, which satisfies the craving and, ultimately, becomes associated with the cue.

Together, these four steps form a neurological feedback loop—cue, craving, response, reward; cue, craving, response, reward—that ultimately allows you to create automatic habits. We can split these four steps into two phases: the problem phase and the solution phase. The problem phase includes the cue and the craving, and it is when you realize that something needs to change. The solution phase includes the response and the reward, and it is when you take action and achieve the change you desire.

Notes on Changing Your Life

All behavior is driven by the desire to solve a problem. Sometimes the problem is that you notice something good and you want to obtain it. Sometimes the problem is that you are experiencing pain and you want to relieve it. Either way, the purpose of every habit is to solve the problems you face. This four-step process is not something that happens occasionally, but rather it is an endless feedback loop that is running and active during every moment you are alive—even now.

The brain is continually scanning the environment, predicting what will happen next, trying out different responses, and learning from the results. The entire process is completed in a split second, and we use it again and again without realizing everything that has been packed into the previous moment.

Imagine walking into a dark room and flipping on the light switch. You have performed this simple habit so many times that it occurs without thinking. You proceed through all four stages in the fraction of a second. The urge to act strikes you without thinking. By the time we become adults, we rarely notice the habits that are running our lives. Most of us never give a second thought to the fact that we tie the same shoe first each morning, or unplug the toaster after each use, or always change into comfortable clothes after getting home from work.

After decades of mental programming, we automatically slip into these patterns of thinking and acting. We can transform these four steps into a practical framework that we can use to design good habits and eliminate bad ones. I refer to this framework as the Four Laws of Behavior Change, and it provides a simple set of rules for creating good habits and breaking bad ones.

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You can think of each law as a lever that influences human behavior. When the levers are in the right positions, creating good habits is effortless. When they are in the wrong positions, it is nearly impossible. Why do I say something is important but never seem to make time for it? The key to creating good habits and breaking bad ones is to understand these fundamental laws and how to alter them to your specifications. Every goal is doomed to fail if it goes against the grain of human nature.

Read more here. Duhigg wrote a great book and my intention is to pick up where he left off by integrating these stages into four simple laws you can apply to build better habits in life and work. Antonio R. Close Search JamesClear. How in shape or out of shape you are? A result of your habits. How happy or unhappy you are?

How successful or unsuccessful you are? Questioners sooner or later end up in a library. Questioners sooner or later end up with scriptures, because scriptures are full of answers. And answers are dangerous, they kill your wonder. You cannot have it in your fist. If you want to have it, you have to keep your hands open. Find your own light. If you are in a shipwreck and all the boats are gone, a piano top buoyant enough to keep you afloat may come along and make a fortuitous life preserver.

How To Start New Habits That Actually Stick

This is not to say, though, that the best way to design a life preserver is in the form of a piano top. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong. The perfect way is only difficult for those who pick and choose. Do not like, do not dislike; all will then be clear. Make a hairbreadth difference, and Heaven and Earth are set apart. If you want the truth to stand clearly before you, never be for or against.

Gystso maybe for a post on FP. We tend to fixate on incorrect assumptions, and overlook the obvious, surprisingly frequently. Since the dog knows nothing of programming, you must justify every statement you make. In the process you will often discover the mistake. I know it sounds weird, but it really does work! How we relate to it creates the future.


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  7. What we do accumulates; the future is the result of what we do right now. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.

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