About a month ago I read a book I can’t stop thinking about! The Power of Habit is the exact kind of non-fiction I love. It’s smart and interesting and it changes your perception how you do what you do, or why you are who you are.
Sounds interesting, right?
The idea, is that a large majority of the decisions we make during the day aren’t really decisions at all. They’re actually engrained habits that we’ve done so many times, we do them without conscious thought. This can be great for things like brushing your teeth every morning, taking your vitamins or remembering to put the trashcans out the night before trash day. It can also be something negative: stress eating when you’re overwhelmed or smoking during your breaks at work.
What I loved about the book was the knowledge that if you identify what your habits are, you can change them. The author breaks every habit down into three things: 1. A Cue 2. A Routine 3. A Reward. This made me think about SO many things in my life (both good and bad habits) that are based on these things. For instance, stress eating was a habit I’d had since I was a teenager. 1. Cue: I get stressed out 2. Routine: Eating everything within a three mile radius 3. Reward: the joy of eating something delicious. The problem, as you know, happens when you start to gain weight, which stresses you out more, which starts the cycle again. The flip side of this is I have some great habits. 1. Cue: Wake up at 5AM 2. Routine: Write at least 1,000 words. 3. Reward: Gaining on my manuscript one day at a time, which eventually lead to me writing five books.
The other bit of the book that I really loved is the idea that a habit can’t really be quit, it can only be replaced. So years ago when I wanted to replace my habit of emotional eating, I decided to start running long distance. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was replacing my bad habit. 1. Cue: I get stressed out 2. Routine: Go on a long run 3. Reward: the joy of endorphins, building up to new distances, and weight loss. I can look at this system and think of how many bad habits I’ve replaced this way without realizing what I was doing. It also makes me feel so in control because if I want to change something, I really just need to figure out how to replace it. This is inspiring for me, and I hope it motivates you too! I highly encourage you guys to check out this awesome book.
I hope you find it as helpful and interesting as I did!