What’s the most effective way to change habits?
I’ve been diving deep into this topic lately, and here’s what I’ve learned. Relied mainly on two sources:
- [Review article] Wood, W., & Neal, D. T. (2016). Healthy through habit: Interventions for initiating & maintaining health behavior change. Behavioral Science & Policy, 2(1), pp. 71–83
- [Podcast] Huberman Lab, The Science of Making & Breaking Habits
Why habits are important?
Habits allow for certain actions to happen by default whenever a certain context/cue is encountered. You wake up and you brush your teeth. It’s not something you do with any cognitive load. It just happens.
This automaticity of habits makes them powerful because you can pretty much rely on you executing the actions you’re habitual to. For example, research has found out that healthy eaters don’t inhibit themselves in front of unhealthy snacks. Instead, they simply eat better and exercise without conscious thought. That’s the power of habits. ...