It’s the time of year where people are thinking about all they’ve achieved (or not achieved) and planning for what they would like to accomplish in the coming year. Everyone’s talking about New Year resolutions and setting goals but we don’t necessarily agree with those.
We’re big believers in if you get your habits right, the rest falls in to place along with a little planning and setting some intentions.
What Are Habits?
So what exactly are habits all about? Habits are small decisions you make and actions you perform on a daily basis, which either help you succeed or fail.
They are the brain’s own internal productivity drivers. Constantly striving for more efficiency, the brain quickly transforms as many tasks and behaviours in to habits so that we can do them without thinking. This frees up more brain power to tackle new challenges.
According to researchers at Duke University, habits account for about 40 percent of our behaviours on any given day.
How Do Habits Get Formed?
The brain converts a sequence of actions in to an automatic routine known as ‘chunking’ and it’s at the root of how habits are formed. There are hundreds of behavioural chunks which we rely on every day.
According to researchers at Duke University habits account for about 40 percent of our behaviours on any given day.
Charles Duhigg, reporter for The New York Times and author of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business states that every habit is formed neurologically and every habit has three components.
He says “There’s a cue, which is like a trigger for the behaviour to start unfolding. A routine, which is the habit itself, the behaviour, the automatic sort of doing what you do when you do a habit. And then at the end, there’s a reward. And the reward is how our neurology learns to encode this pattern for the future.
And most people, when they think about habits, they focus on the behaviour or the routine. But what we’ve learned is that it’s the cue and the reward that really determine why a habit unfolds. And you’re exactly right.
What happens in our neurology is that most behaviour when it starts, originates in the prefrontal cortex, the area right behind our forehead. What we think of as thought, that’s where it occurs. It’s one of the most new, from an evolutionary perspective, parts of our brain.
But as a behaviour becomes a habit, as it becomes automatic, it moves into the basal ganglia, which is one of the oldest structures in our brain and it’s near the centre of our skull. And when things happen in the basal ganglia, it doesn’t feel like thought. That’s why a habit feels automatic, is because it’s happening in this part of your brain that for all intents and purposes, from what we think of as thinking, is completely exempt from that process.”
First, there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use. Then there is the routine, which can be physical or mental or emotional. Finally, there is a reward, which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future. Over time, this loop… becomes more and more automatic. The cue and reward become intertwined until a powerful sense of anticipation and craving emerges.
How Can Habits Help You Reach And Maintain Your Wealth Potential?
Great question. As habits account for about 40 percent of our behaviours on any given day if you can get these right then you increase your chances of having success as things will happen automatically, without you needing to think too much about things.
How are you going to reach and maintain your wealth potential? The super successful say that having habits increases your chances of achieving the things you really want.
We’ve put together a handy list to help you with yours.
What Are Your Top 10 Habits, Good And Bad?
Write a list of your top 5 good habits and your top 5 bad habits. Sometimes it’s easy to think of the bad ones first. Some examples might be smoking, eating junk food, watching too much television…
Good habits could include drinking a glass of warm water with lemon first thing in the morning just after you rise, spending some time in nature on a daily basis or walking your dog (I know your dog will be appreciating this habit).
To increase your chances of improved success write your list of habits down on a piece of paper. Think about which ones are serving you and which one’s aren’t.
Now might be a good time to make a change or two.
If you’re currently not in the financial position you’d like to be and would like to discuss steps you’re going to need to take talk to us. Join our community or send us an email. We’d love to help.