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A Bit of a Habit

Hi, my name is Sneha; for the context of this blog - I was never a 'reader.' The first book (apart from my school and college textbooks…and some kids' storybooks) I ever read was 'Atomic Habits' by James Clear. I received it as a gift. Its fate might have been like the other books in my cupboard, waiting to be read for years. This particular book landed in my hands in the last week of December 2022, and you know what people like to make at this time of the year? - Resolutions. So there it was! My New Year Resolution for 2023: Start Reading Books. My lovely Mother had very inspiring words for this new venture of mine - "are you sure?"


After considering all the possibilities of me quitting halfway through the book, I started reading it right away. That way, I'll know for sure if I can complete the book before making a resolution. I started on the 27th and finished reading the book by the 6th of January, 2023. How did I do it? I followed the advice in the book itself!


Blog about Atomic Habits by James Clear


How habit is formed :


According to James Clear's book "Atomic Habits," the psychology behind cue-craving-response-reward is a fundamental part of human behavior.


First, let's talk about the psychology behind cue-craving-response-reward. Clear explains that a cue triggers a craving, leading to a response (or behavior) and, ultimately, a reward. For example, the cue could be the sound of an ice cream truck, the craving is for ice cream, the response is buying and eating ice cream, and the reward is the satisfaction of the sweet treat.

But what happens when these habits are negative? Clear argues that we can change the habit by identifying and changing the cue. For example, if you have a cue-craving-response-reward cycle for eating junk food when you're stressed, try identifying a new cue (such as going for a walk) and a new reward (such as feeling relaxed and refreshed) to replace the harmful habit.


How to change habits :


Have you ever heard the saying "out of sight, out of mind"? Well, that's precisely what happens when it comes to building habits. A habit must be obvious, attractive, easy, and satisfying, or it's likely to stick. But why is that? Let's dive into the psychology behind these four key habit-forming components and explore ways to make them work for us.


First off, let's talk about making habits obvious. The more obvious a habit is, the more likely we are to do it. This is because our brains are wired to notice things right in front of us. For example, if you're trying to make a habit of flossing your teeth, leaving your floss out on the bathroom counter will make it more obvious and increase your chances of actually doing it.


Next, let's talk about making habits attractive. We are more likely to do something if we find it appealing. This is why it's essential to make a habit of something you actually want to do. For example, if you're trying to make a habit of going for a run, make it more attractive by running in a beautiful park or listening to your favorite music while you do it.


Making habits easy is also crucial. If a habit is too difficult, we're likely to give up on it. This is why it's essential to start small and gradually increase the difficulty. For example, if you're trying to make a habit of reading before bed, start with just 10 minutes a night and gradually increase the time.


Finally, let's talk about making habits satisfying. We are more likely to repeat a habit if we enjoy it and it makes us feel good. For example, if you're trying to make a habit of writing in a journal, make it satisfying by using a nice pen and writing in a beautiful journal.


So there you have it, the psychology behind making habits obvious, attractive, easy, and satisfying. Remember, the key to building habits is to make them as easy, obvious, attractive, and satisfying as possible. Doing so will make you more likely to stick to them and make them a permanent part of your life. There are various methods based on psychology, and neuroscience explained in this book.


The human brain is a tricky little thing– I tricked it into believing. I believed that I was already a person who reads books. Asked myself– "would a person who loves reading books scroll through reels for hours or just read a book?". Now I read books every day. If I could build a habit from scratch, so can you!

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Guest
Jan 12, 2023

What a wonderful article!! I'm going to try this out!

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