Our habits make us and break us. Habits are nothing but repetitive behavior when done repetitively become automatic. To learn how building habits work.
Developing habits isn’t a very hard task but the reward should be good enough to keep stimulating the behavior.
James Clear in his book, Atomic Habits introduced these 4 laws of Behavioural Change. Here is a brief introduction to these 4 laws
1. Make It Obvious (Cue/ Trigger)
Ask yourself a question how can you easily know when to perform a certain behavior/ task, this is your Trigger.
Now make that trigger as simple as possible and easy to detect.
Example 1: If you wanna write a blog each day, then set a time for it. Same time every day, so every time the clock hits that time, you stop doing whatever you are doing and start writing a blog.
Example 2: If you want to drink more water throughout the day, you might wanna keep a bottle in front of you that would keep reminding you to hydrate.
2. Make It Attractive (Craving)
When the reward or end result is good, we are more likely to perform that behavior.
Example 1: When you write a new blog, you’ll learn and teach something new and that feeling might induce a feeling of happiness and accomplishment. Making you crave more again and again.
Example 2: After drinking water you are most likely to feel relaxed and more energized throughout the day. This feeling would something that you would crave again and again.
3. Make It Easy (Response)
The trigger and response should be as simple as possible. If the behavior that you need to perform is fairly simple, you are most likely to do it.
Example 1: If the blog is just 200-500words long, you would most likely be tempted to write it, unlike a 2000 word blog.
Example 2: If the bottle is close to you and insight, you would drink water more often, rather than going to the kitchen or pantry to fetch some while working.
4. Make It Satisfying (Reward)
The feeling/ feedback you get after doing behavior is something that will make you repeat or regret the action.
It’s a lot easier to develop a habit when there is some feedback that you can use.
Example 1: After writing each blog you get a sense of accomplishment.
Example 2: After drinking water regularly, you would feel more energetic and less thirsty throughout the day.
It’s a lot easier to stack habits and set one habit’s reward as the cue for another habit also called Habit Stacking.
ie After Habit X I will do Habit Y.
So if you are unable to find the exact time slot for a habit, find a habit that you need to perform every day.
So the above formula becomes:
After Habit: I Need —> Habit: I Want