Six Tips for Making a Positive Habit Change | The Arena Club
Forty percent of our daily actions are habits. Habits are repeated behaviors that create an automatic routine; they allow the brain to conserve energy and avoid overstimulation. Habits happen in loops built from cues, routines, and rewards. Readiness to change and break free from habits is a predictable process that happens in six stages. Each stage reflects a person’s perceptions of his or her current health behaviors and the person’s motivations to change in the future.
- Believe in change – have confidence in making a change and create a concrete plan of action.
- Choose one habit - Pick one habit to change at a time and focus your energy on making that successful.
- Identify your routines – Routines are physical, emotional, or mental behaviors provoked by cues. Routines can be healthy such as exercising or unhealthy such as binge-eating after stress.
- Isolate your cues – Cues are triggers that tell the brain to go on autopilot. Environmental and situational cues include time of day, location, or certain odors. Emotional situations include work stress and/or kids.
- Experiment with rewards - Rewards are the prizes gained for completing habit loops. Rewards provide a sense of accomplishment, happiness or relief.
- Plan – Planning is the cornerstone of successful behavior change and helps to teach self-regulation, or the ability to resist temptation.