Habits: Why are some easy to break and make and others so hard?

As humans we are inheritanty habitual creatures. We adopt daily routines that we are familiar with and know. We get up at the same time each morning, We drive the same route to work, Cook the same meal every Sunday, Watch the same TV series every night, We go the the same cafes & order the same cup of coffee every morning. It is out of habit that these things become our regular, but at some point, somewhere in your life these habits began. At some point this was a new thing for you. So why then are some habits so easy to make and others like keeping to an excersie routine or eating right for your body can seem so hard?

Habits by defenition are: A settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.

Take your morning cup of coffee for instance. You wake up & first thing you do is head straight to the coffee machine or to the coffee shop on the way to work.

It is a simple routine practice you may have come to rely on, the habitual practice of getting the coffee, but also the effects caffiene has on our system, being an addictive substance.

Habits can be out of a repeated physical practice or you can be habitually addicted to substance for the way it makes you feel.

Some habits are easier to make than others and there is a scientific reason why.

Adopting new habits is only ever difficult for one of two reasons:

1.You don’t understand how habits are structured and how to leverage that structure to your advantage.

2.You are attempting to do too much too soon and setting yourself up for failure.

The Structure of Habits

All habits can be broken down into three basic components:

1 The Cue or Trigger: This is the part of the habit loop where you are triggered to take some sort of action through a cue in your internal or external environment.

2 The Action: Good or bad, this is the part of the habit loop where you actually take action on the habit you want to adopt or drop.

3 The Reward: This is the part of the habit loop where your brain receives a reward for taking the desired activity (or not as you will see in just a second).

If you really want to make your new habits stick, then you need to be honest with yourself and approach your new habits in a realistic and progressive way (after all life is a marathon, not a sprint).

Read next weeks blog where we reveal 5 tips to create habits that are good for you & exactly how to stick to them. Happy habit setting everyone!

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