Hacking your way to better habits

No human is perfect. We all have habits that we wish we could change whether it’s things we do, things we wish we would do or things we don’t do. Well, now is the time to start changing. It’s all made possible with brain hacking. Brain hacking was created using the simple premise: our brain is just one huge computer. It can be rewired, upgraded and hacked just like your apple mac at home. This means there’s a way to hack your brain into better habits.

Habits are, in the most basic terms, the process in which activities that would usually require willpower become automatic. So in order to form better habits, you need to condition your brain.  This all requires process. Process is the all-important step in any successful venture – even personal ones. It lets you map out your actions and visualise the results.

The first step in this process is setting yourself a conditioning period. This will be the period that you focus solely on building up these better habits. Scientific studies show this period is approximately around 66 days. In this time period, it is imperative that you practice and nurse your new habit every day. If you don’t, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

If your new habit is about giving an old habit up, one of the most crucial steps is focusing on replacing the most common 80-90% of that habit – doing this will eliminate that vacuumous black hole that forms in your habit’s absence. Do this to avoid that vacuum dragging you back into your bad habits. You have to find out how to implement a healthier routine to yield the same reward. Focusing on the reward will help get you through that mid-habit slump. For example , rewarding yourself with a delicious breakfast after gym will help you focus on the reward and not the dreaded exercise.

Another important aspect of building better habits is to focus on the start. This really means that you shouldn’t focus on committing huge amounts of time to your new habit, just focus on doing at least 5 minutes a day to start your habit. It all relies on setting yourself a micro-quota. This is the minimum amount that you have to do to reach your big goal (or macro goal). The rest will follow. You’ll find that as soon as you start doing whatever your new habit is, you’ll end up dedicating more time to it than you originally intended.

Many of us have had no real problem forming new habits, it’s keeping them that’s the real problem. This is where your friends or family come in. Charles Duhigg, in his book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, says “for a habit to stay changed, people must believe that change is possible. And most often, that belief only emerges with the help of a group.” This is simply because Groups create accountability and belief. Without accountability, we slip into old habits, as there’s no fear of repercussions.

Lastly, the most important, and most crucial step in this whole process is no longer caving to those “ah-screw-it” moments. In the inspiring words of Nike, just do it. Perseverance is key. We, as humans, are governed by our habits. Those little things that we do every day are what make up who we are. If you know how to control your habits, you can better control who you are. Hack your habits, and become a better you.

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