Habits always have 3 components - called the Habit Loop - which are:
1. a cue or trigger
2. a routine
3. a reward
For years science has looked at #2 - the routine - going to the gym, eating vegetables, brushing your teeth - as the most important. What science is now showing us is that it's not the ROUTINE, it's the cue and the reward that really make a habit stick.
When measuring brain waves, the brain actually almost 'shuts off' during the routine. The 'habit' or activity has become automatic. What causes the brain to have a spike of activity are the cue and the reward, so that's what we want to focus on! On Saturday we had a 'creation station' to make yourself a cue or trigger to remind yourself constantly of your 5 habits and your 21 day challenge. We had construction paper, magnets, markers, etc in order to make the cue or trigger bright.
Step 1: Make a Cue or Trigger!
It can be bright, it can be dull, you can make 1, you can make several, put them on your mirror, fridge, steering wheel, office computer, wherever you need to be 'triggered' to do your habit.
The second component is the reward. The obvious example here would be doing something good and getting an immediate reward (think: dog or child). The reality is though that most good things are actually delayed gratification, so you have to think long-term about your reward and what you are getting out of your habit or routine. There might not be an immediate reward for exercising daily, but the reward is that you won't die 10 years early from a massive heart attack.
Step 2: What is the Reward?
You have to think realistically about what that habit is doing for you in the long-term, and you have to associate that long-term result with the feeling it will bring - either avoiding pain or providing pleasure. What did it feel like when your dad died of a heart attack and left your mom without a husband and your family with no father, and what will it feel like to never do that to your kids and to live your 70s and 80s still doing what you love with who you love? The reward for healthy habits is the biggest reward there is, but it's not immediate!
Here are the 15 Healthy Habit examples we talked through at the workshop:
1. Pray and Meditate
2. Go to bed/Get up Earlier
3. Stretch and/or do Yoga
4. Eat a Healthy Fat with Every Meal
5. Intermittent Fasting
7. Get Outside
8. Say Affirmations
9. Eat a Ketogenic Diet
10. Go Grain-Free/Sugar-Free
11. Take (the right) Healing Supplements
12. Keep a Gratitude Journal
13. Give Something Up
14. Read (a book)
15. Take Care of Your SPINE!l