The Anatomy of a Habit

Why we do what we do when we do it

Did you know that 40–45% of our daily behaviors are habits triggered by our external environment (where we are, who we are with, what we are doing, how our body is feeling, etc.)?!

On the one hand, this could be daunting to think that almost half of your actions are caused by something outside of you. On the other hand, this presents an incredible opportunity! If we seek to change our behavior/lifestyle/habits, then we must start by simply identifying and being aware of the cue/trigger that is causing us to act the way we currently do.

There are 3 parts to the Habit Loop — also known as the 3 R’s of Habit Formation.

  1. The Reminder: A trigger or cue that starts the habit
  2. The Routine: The action you take. The habit itself
  3. The Reward: The benefit you gain from doing the habit (could be positive or negative benefit — typically entertainment or stress relief), that will cause you to perform the same behavior again in the future.

Want to build a new, healthy habit? Create your own habit loop.

Want to change or break a bad habit? Keep the trigger and reward the same and replace the routine.

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