The Power of Habit

The Power of Habit


So if you’re like me you probably have at
least a few bad habits you would like to break. But it’s tough cause no matter how hard I
try, I seem to slip back into the same old routines again and again. In the last decade we’ve learned a lot about
how habits work. That’s Charles Duhigg, author of the book,
“The Power of Habit.” In particular we’ve learned the neurological
structure of a habit. He says we tend to think of a habits as a
single thing, but actually, each habit has three components. There’s a cue which is
a trigger for a behavior to start, and then there is a routine which is the behavior itself,
and then finally a reward, which is how our brain learns to encode that automatic behavior
for the future. And one of the big differences is that for
years when people thought about habits, they focused in on the routine, on the behavior.
But what we now know is that it’s these queues and these rewards that really shape how habits
occur and how to change them. And Charles says whether we like it or not,
this kind of habit formation is endemic to our brain. And what it will do is our brain will latch
on to a queue that it associates with a behavior and a particular reward. And over time, that
queue and that reward become more and more and more sort of intertwined. The inner part
of your brain, the basal ganglia will relate them together. And the behavior that is associated
with that, that will just sort of happen automatically. But Charles says the good news is we can also
use this knowledge to our advantage. There was a big study that was done about
how to create exercise habits. And so what they did is they told a group of people, “Okay,
first of all choose an obvious queue: always go running at the same time every day or put
your workout clothes next to your bed so that you see them first thing when you wake up.”
And then they said, “Go for a run or go workout and when you get back from exercising, give
yourself a small piece of chocolate.” Now this is kind of counter intuitive, right?
Because people who are exercising are trying to lose weight, not eat more chocolate. And
yet what the researchers knew is that their brain needed that reward. The basal ganglia
needed some reward. But what they found was that people who ate a small piece of chocolate
after coming home from a run or a workout, they were much more likely to start exercising
habitually. So according to Charles, whether you want
to break a habit, or start a new habit, the key is to divide the habit into its component
parts: queue, routine and reward, and design it for the result that you want. Hey guys, my name is Kirsten from Epipheo
and we would love to hear from you about what you think a great reward is for you to make
or break a habit. So, leave us a comment down below in the comment section and let us know.
We come out with a video every week that we hope will change your life. And next week
we are talking about how you can say, “No,” to pretty much anything. So hit subscribe
and we will see you next week!

100 Replies to “The Power of Habit”

  1. Too cool you guys! I love truth and the agility to boil things down and deliver them quick. That is the key to great writing. Jesus was the greatest Master of this. (Read his parable of Lazarus and the Rich man in Luke 16:19-31.) Every word has meaning. I too make videos and write. Maybe I can help you. If I can I will. Google itellwhy. Thanks for your great work! Kudos!

  2. Wish I had something for you. Maybe this will help:

    I had a book when I was finishing up my smoking habit. Allen Carr's book on "How to stop smoking."  I read it everyday when I was out on the deck smoking. It took me more than a month to finish it. Then I went on a road trip thinking I would be finished with the book before leaving home. It was a trip from Portland Oregon to San Jose California. . . and I smoked on the way down as I hadn't finished the book and those were the instructions. So I arrived at my friends and finished it while having my last cigarette ever, on her front porch. Getting away from my environment and finishing a book seemed to do the trick. Also I noticed whenever I had a "Pang" as Allen Carr calls it. The first time I had the "pang" . . . I thought to myself "that's the feeling I had when I did that thing that I did." You described that "pang" perfectly in your video. " 🙁 " 

  3. Intellectual stuff. Thoughts lead to action to habit to character. So after a while those thoughts need not be thought about. They start happening automatically.

  4. Our generation, we're so lucky to have things like the internet, google, youtube and everything that comes with it to guide and inform us. this technique really helped me at a dark time of my life.  i got out of addiction and things are looking up again.

  5. Persuade yourself to earn watching videos and TV shows.  Use "permissions" to watch TV shows or videos as rewards.

  6. Hey im going to amazon right away, i want to wake up early every day. It´s just breaking my life apart or to save money o to buy assets, etc…

  7. All of these videos are genuinely 'awesome'. I am an educated person, and perhaps, even an intellectual (?!) .. and most of these videos are 'old news' for me.. BUT I keep watching them over and over again! Can you please please consolidate a 'recommended reading list' ? Please? 

  8. What I do is write a message in the palm of my hand every time I get the cravings I look at the message in my hand!  "never eat that cake again!!" man those honey Bons were hard to say no to!! I reawarded it with almonds!!! may next is going to be not playing super street fighters 4 and possibly not plying video games ever!! I feel this is impossible cause my play station is no just for play is movie time neflix..a lot more….

  9. great i was actually very interested in the topic. i think for every good thing you do to to try break a habit get some food put your feet up always take breaks and renew your energy resources.

  10. YEAH THATS TRUE, smoking or not, it's your choice, AND it' s basically not one of your daily needs, im getting tired to some people who always self-protecting theirself when they are a smoker, GTFO SMOKER, you are fucking annoying and if you THINK everybody love the smell of your smoke, GO DIE BY YOURSELF

  11. There is a saying…. Horses for courses.

    This video was excellent UNTIL the Nasal voice over at the end became "ANTI Chocolate"

    I am sure she is a brilliant mind and a WONDER FULL lady….. But her voice over was grating thus destroying the message….

    Just a suggestion…. Stick to what you are good at instead of seeking anonymous MINI fame at the tail end of helpful videos.

    Tough LOVE

  12. The problem with being an adult is that you can reward yourself whenever you want. You can have that chocolate anyways. I'd say that giving all the "chocolate" to a loved one, so that you can't reward yourself unless you finish your work, would be one answer.

  13. why would you excersize to get the chocolate when you can just eat the chocolate without excersizing? as for breaking a habit, you can switch the routines but then why would you get the same reward? the gum isnt going to give you the same reward a cigarette would. Your just gona smoke anyway to get the desired reward. This seems impossible, but some people do break habits somehow, but how?

  14. It's been one year I've quit smoking and I'm proud of it. But nowadays I'm addicted to porns I guess.

  15. Hi Guys great vid, the reward for exercise is getting to the top of the hill and seeing the sun rise , every morning it is different so what will it be like today?? exciting. Living longer while felling better is pretty good motivator , choc still works though!

  16. Thank you for the vid, but there is a problem with it, the animation distracts me from the speech, try to make your vds more coherent between the sound and the image 🙂

  17. A few times in the video you accidentally spelled "cue" incorrectly, using its homonym "queue" (which means a line of people waiting for something) instead.

  18. Hey, I really wanted to know if the chocolate thing works 'cuz I'm worried it will increase my temptation for it and I'll end up eating more and more of it.

  19. Setting aside a small monetary award, like a $, may be a good reward for me. This might feel like "special money" to buy something extra for a grandchild or adult child. I'm not sure if it will work, but it's worth a try.

  20. I feel so alone with my bad habits, I pray for strength…. Im stuck focusing on health now instead of living which sucks. But then again making a living for me is really surviving, I also have no support because all my friends and family are in the poverty trap. Not that they focus on it, but I do… life just feels like survival… and now my health is shit I feel really really alone. Yessss life is a rainbow of pain.

  21. somedays i go for miles run with my sister, and we found little stall sell some ice and sweet soymilk… after that we always have to drink some from that stall after we run miles!!! it is helping me and my sister to get up early, put our shoes on, and start to exercise….. yeaaay

  22. I subscribed but then in subscribed because a lot of these videos are incomplete. The information about the study was very interesting but your smoking example and conclusions is terrible and far reaching with the substitution of gum… because a huge reason for smoking habits is the addictive properties of nicotine and it's effect on the brain.

  23. incentive I used to exercise in the morning – a nice quiet shower after the workout – Very motivating when you have little children!

  24. what,s wrong with rewarding our dumbass brains?….lets face it life is pretty tedious shit for most people so drink beer smoke your head off eat a giant steak and with any luck the life shortening effect will save you a long lingering dribbling and pissing the bed time in some damn old folks home.

  25. I had just planned this for myself. if I go to work with a positive attitude I can buy myself chocolate with the money I earned. then I thought hmm is this another bad habit.. should I buy fruit? no because then I'd have to work on two bad habits at once-_-

  26. The problem is… a piece of chocolat won't do.It's too easy. And not satisfying enough. Even a whole cake would not get me to run 20 minutes. Usually the reward we want is the result we are looking for when we try to create a new habit.

    Ex: I go to run every morning so I can be fit. Expected reward: Be fit.

    But you run and run and run for a month or more and you will probably still not get fit enough to consider this the result of a good reward. So… you give up after some time.

    This happens to me everytime I try to set a workout regime. I go for a month. Maybe 2 or 3 months if I have company. Then… When I see the results are not that great… I just start to slack off. Not enough reward.

    So… The best is to kind forget the reward and just try to get into the habit of sucking it up and just fuc*** do it! Seriously! Just focus on the habit itself and use your willpower to do it, even when you don't feel like it. Setting small goals might help too. But better than that… Don't think! Just do!

    JUST FUCKING DO IT! FORGET THE REWARD! No one owes you s*** and no one cares if you don't do it. DO IT!

  27. love this video – really breaks down the 'what' we need to do to beat a habit. The 'how' is a little more tricky but the chocolate idea is genius – as long it is in moderation!

  28. The problem as alot of people has mentioned why this does not work is because the reward you give yourself is not associated with the habbit.
    You can reward yourself with candy anytime a day, however what is associated with running for example is something called runners high, that would work, or just the idea of reward as you will become more fit.
    I mean, if i gave myself heroin everytime i did something, you think that'd work?
    Creating good habbits is not easy, but honestly, stop looking for shortcuts all the time. All you need is selfdiscipline, and if you dont have it, understand what it is and begin practice it.

  29. Hi, thank you, this is one of the best video clip about habit, i translated it to persain, can i share it on my own page ? And by the way about reward, i study about habits and i think reward has to be with routine not separable from it, i mean that if you eat chokolate after working out, our brain will find another way to reach chokolate without working out, so the reward and routine should be inseparable.

  30. Anyone else noticed there's a contradiction between the concept he is talking about and the animation?

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