How To Finally Break Bad Habits And Form Good Ones

14 Feb

This story is adapted from The Brave Athlete by Dr. Simon Marshall and Lesley Paterson. Their cutting-edge brain training guide solves the 13 most common mental conundrums athletes face in their everyday training and in races. With The Brave Athlete, you can solve these problems to become mentally strong and make your brain your most powerful asset. 카지노사이트

To master the art of doing, you need to create habits and routines in the brain that are relatively resistant to a whining Chimp and the paralysis-by-analysis ruminations of your Professor brain. For the routine to become automatic, we need to design it with such conscious and deliberate precision that it’s ready-made to run on autopilot.

Here are the step-by-step instructions.

Step 1: Learn The Pattern And Crack The Code

All habits follow very predictable and logical patterns. They are composed of a “neurological loop,” which is science-speak for a predictable pattern of events in the brain and body that runs on autopilot. The loop consists of three important elements: a trigger, a ritual, and a reward. If you want to break, modify or build habits, you must first figure out which element is causing the most problem (it might be all three!).


The event that cues the brain to start the habit, like your alarm clock going off if you need to get out of bed early. It’s the habit’s starting pistol. If you want to start a new behavior, you often have to choose the trigger for that behavior.


The actual behavior that you want to start, which includes the timing and the step-by-step instructions for how it occurs. For example, if the desired behavior is to do more stretching and rolling, the ritual might start with being in the right clothes, having any equipment you need on hand, having enough space and time and knowing what exercises to do. 바카라사이트


The feeling you get once you’ve done or are doing the behavior. For new behaviors that aren’t intrinsically pleasurable, you might need to pair a separate reward (something that does provide a dopamine squirt) with the new behavior so you still feel good after completion. For bad habits, the reward is what stops the craving. It might be the intense pleasure you get from eating chocolate, or temporarily forgetting that you’re lonely when you hit the booze.

A former research collaborator of mine at Stanford University, tiny habit guru Dr. B. J. Fogg, trained himself to do 10 push-ups every time he flushed the lavatory. He developed great upper body strength using this simple trick. That’s a genius use of triggers. When you think of the behaviors you want to change, try to be as specific as possible. For example, instead of just saying, “Do more training,” you might say, “Get up at 5 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to run for 45 minutes before work.” Buy your copy of The Brave Athlete and build some good habits using Exercise 1 from Chapter 4: Setting Goals Is Not Your Problem.

Step 2: Make A Watertight Ritual

The ritual is the sequence of behavioral steps you need in order to actually cre­ate a habit. You need to know exactly how it unfolds for you, and this takes some self-experimentation. If you’re trying to start a new habit, you should design the ritual so it has a good chance of becoming automatic. If it’s overly complicated or requires a lot of thought, it doesn’t stand much of a chance. For example, if you want to go out for a run three mornings a week before work, you might plan the routine as follows:

  1. Lay out run clothes the night before.
  2. Change into run clothes immediately after getting out of bed.
  3. Pee or poop.
  4. Drink single espresso and eat half banana.
  5. Lace up shoes while mentally visualizing run route.
  6. Leave the house at exactly 6:15 a.m.!

If you have to dig through laundry for clean shorts, or try to answer e-mails beforehand, it doesn’t lend itself to becoming automatic. Lock that ritual in! If you’re trying to break a bad habit, you need to deconstruct the pattern of actions that lead you there. For example, your evening snack binge ritual might involve getting off the couch, walking over to the pantry and opening it, foraging for something, and then slouching back on the couch with your treats. You may want to ask your partner or spouse to help you uncover your ritual. After all, many routines are subconscious and you may not even be aware you’re doing them. Remember, you’re trying to make the ritual conscious (Exercise 2, which you can find in Chapter 4 of The Brave Athlete). 온라인카지

Step 3: Know The Rewards That Do And Don’t Work For You

For some people, the reward is the driving force behind the habit. We’ve already established that powerful neurotransmitters cause a chemical reaction to reward the ritual and increase pleasure (dopamine) and/or feelings of happiness and positive mood (serotonin). However, other neurotransmitters may also be involved, like endorphins (which reduce stress and alleviate pain) or oxytocin (which increases a sense of trust and intimacy). If the action you’re trying to just do isn’t that pleasurable or enjoyable, we need to find a way to make it so.

Here’s an example from Lesley, the world’s biggest moaner about how cold the swimming pool is.

Lesley: But babe, you don’t understand! The pool is so f*cking cold! I’m literally shivering in the water. I just don’t want to get up for that. Have you any idea what it’s like trying to psych yourself up for a hard session in a cold pool when it’s still f*cking dark out? It’s miserable!!

Simon: [Resisting the urge to say: Just suck it up or fatten up a bit.] That sounds horrible, darling. Why don’t you do two sessions a week in your wetsuit? It’s warm, it’s fast, and you won’t dread it so much.

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