The habit creation process, a three-step loop
- First, there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use.
- Then there is the routine, which can be physical or mental or emotional.
- Finally, there is a reward, which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future.
Change is possible
Tweaking your habits to be a more productive advisor
Changing Client Habits
Changing Your Habits
- Cue: The cue for me is a preceding action. Whenever I reach a brief pause in whatever productive thing I am doing on my computer, I switch to the list and get lost in a sea of links. So the cue is any moment immediately after a spell of productivity.
- Routine: The routine is mental. I switch to the Twitter list, click refresh, and proceed to scan, click, and start reading/watching/listening.
- Reward: The reward, which may be obvious, is distraction. After a spell of productivity, I feel the cue that tells my brain to stop working so hard and enjoy some passive entertainment, a nice mental distraction that makes my brain lazy.
One last thing… On restraintThis bit is from an article called Why We Return To Bad Habits from Scientific American:
If you have ever lost weight on a diet only to gain it all back, you were probably as perplexed as you were disappointed. You felt certain that you had conquered bad eating habits—so what caused the backslide? New research suggests that you may have succumbed to a cognitive distortion called restraint bias. Bolstered by an inflated sense of impulse control, we overexpose ourselves to temptation and fall prey to impulsiveness. When you’ve made progress avoiding your indulgences and that little voice in your head tells you it’s okay to start exposing yourself to temptation again—ignore it.