Why Breaking Bad Habits Are So Hard

Breaking bad habits is like trying to quit smoking while standing in a room full of ashtrays. No matter how hard you try, the temptation is always there, staring you in the face. But why is it so darn hard to break a bad habit?

Well, according to the behavior design methodology, habits are formed through a loop of cue, routine, and reward. The cue triggers the routine, which leads to the reward. So, for example, the cue to smoke is feeling stressed, the routine is lighting up a cigarette, and the reward is feeling relaxed.

But here’s the kicker – the brain likes rewards. It craves them. So when we try to break a habit, we’re not just fighting against the cue and routine, we’re fighting against the reward. It’s like trying to stop eating chocolate when chocolate is the only thing keeping you alive in a post-apocalyptic world.

But fear not, my fellow habit-breakers! There is hope. By understanding the cue, routine, and reward loop, we can start to change the routine and find new rewards. Instead of smoking, try going for a walk when feeling stressed. Instead of overeating, try finding a new hobby to distract you.

Breaking bad habits is tough because our brain loves rewards. But by understanding the behavior design methodology, we can change the routine and find new rewards. Now, excuse me while I go take a walk and find a new hobby… away from chocolate.


kAREEM syed


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