To break an existing habit or create a new one, learn to crack the code of the Habit Pathway. Rather than just focusing on the action you want to stop or start, analyze what drives it, so you can reroute your pathway to your resolution.
Habits generate new positive experiences and/or offer relief from negative experiences. Your brain wants to get these rewards again, so it pays close attention to spot the feelings, situations and actions happening beforehand, so it knows how to re-create the rewarding experience. Unconsciously, your brain is creating a detailed map of the roads back to rewards: Signs (cues) – Travel (actions) – Destination (rewards).
Plus, your brain also generates fuel for the journey. Your capacity to anticipate enables you to imagine the new experience (reward) you want. You want to feel differently than you do now, and this tension propels you forward to take action.
Now your brain has its travel plan: Look for the road SIGNS (cues) that the reward is ahead, which FUELS you with excitement (craving). This longing motivates you to TRAVEL (take action) to the DESTINATION (reward). Habits are created by traveling this pathway over and over.
Set your resolutions up for success by exploring how you can build-in cues, cravings and rewards to sustain your new action through the repetitions you need to create a habit.
To learn more, check out my book, From Hope to Habit: Science-Based Solutions to Live Your Best Intentions.