CTRL-ALT-DEL... Is it time to reboot your habits?
I started re-reading one of my favorite books of all time, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. The book provides a scientific explanation of why we do what we do in life.
Over the next few weeks, I'm going to cover some principles of this book to help you understand your habits, and how they are controlling your health and your life without your even knowing it.
A habit is formed because your brain is looking for a way to save effort in decision making. When a habit forms, the brain stops thinking about decision making. So unless you deliberately fight a habit, the pattern will unfold automatically every time. The problem is that your brain can't tell the difference between a good habit and a bad habit... especially when the pattern is unfolding without any conscious effort on your part.
A habit is made up of 3 parts: a cue, a routine, and a reward. Let's think about brushing your teeth this morning. Did you really have to think about it? Nope, you start getting dressed for your day (cue), brushed your teeth (routine), and your breath was fresher and teeth were cleaner (reward). Let's take a bad habit like eating carbs late at night. This really hits close to home for me. I get home from work and sit in my comfy recliner wondering what carbohydrate-laden food is in the fridge like ice cream (cue), go get the ice cream and eat it (routine), and then feel the yummy sensation in my mouth (reward). All habits both good and bad can be broken into a cue, a routine, and a reward.
Habits are driven by cravings and cravings are VERY powerful. Cravings drive bad habits. Think of illicit drug addicts, alcoholics and people who are addicted to their phones or social media. We call them both USERS and their usage is driven by cravings. Smokers get cravings after a meal; alcoholics get cravings at the sight of a bar or liquor store; social media addicts get cravings at the ding of their phone or the sight of the notification icon letting the person know something is waiting for them on Facebook.
'll get deeper into this discussion on "the power of habits" over the next few weeks. In the meantime... consider the cues and rewards that are driving your bad habits. Whether it's over-eating, overspending, over-drinking, over-using (drugs, social media, etc.), or "over anything" damaging your body, mind, or soul, it may be time to hit CTRL-ALT-DEL. Has your computer ever gotten stuck? It just won't work? What do you do? You hit ctrl-alt-del and close down the "stuck" program in the task manager. Then you "reboot" the computer. It works every time like magic. Well, maybe it's time to reboot your health and your life along with it.
We are running a "21 Day Reset Challenge" for our practice members and anyone who wants to participate online. This is a virtual, online challenge so you don't even need to come into the practice if you don't want to. What are we resetting and rebooting? Specifically, all the important habits pertaining to health and wellness. How you eat and supplement, how you move and exercise, and how you think and manage stress.
Join me on October 6th at 6:30 as I go through the 21-Day Reset Challenge. This will be a Virtual Zoom meeting and the link to sign up is below. I will cover exactly how this 21 Day Reset Challenge will work, including meal plans, shopping list, daily virtual programmed workouts, daily meditations, inspirational stress management strategies tools, and much more.
Is it time for YOU to hit CTRL-ALT-DEL and close down the old "bad" habit program and start a new "healthy" habit one?