Good Morning! As you get ready for your open house or a Sunday full of showings, we wanted to share with you a great article about habits. You can be, do, and have anything in the world you want if only you form the habits needed to get what you want. The problem is that sometimes it is really difficult to form those habits. You know exactly what we are talking about if you have ever started out the New Year with a gym membership only to have that membership card collect dust after a few short weeks. Check out the article below. It suggests that to create good habits, like going to the gym, prospecting for clients, or doing open houses, you can’t wait for the positive results that will come to you weeks down the road, you have to create a positive result right now. Therefore, you must immediately reward yourself whenever you take the necessary steps to create the life you want. Are you doing an Open House today rather than taking the afternoon off? Indulge in a piece of chocolate and enjoy! We hope you enjoy the article. Keep up the great work!!! We enjoy watching your success!
How to Form a Good Habit
What’s the Big Idea?
I don’t know about you, but when I hear the phrase “good habits,” I involuntarily wince. Most of us first learn about the importance of good habits (their magical power to keep us out of jail, the poorhouse, etc) from our parents. What’s often left out is the instructional piece. We learn that good habits are good, but not necessarily how to develop them.
In The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, acclaimed journalist Charles Duhigg investigates the neuroscience of habit and explains how habit loops are formed in the brain. Because these loops – comprised of cue (“hmm, it’s 3 pm…cookie time!”), routine (Go to cabinet. Eat cookie.), and reward (Yummy cookie dopamine rush, fun break room chat with colleagues dopamine rush . . .) – become neurologically hardwired over time, they’re easier to rewire, slotting in other elements, than to drop entirely.
But let’s say I’ve managed to kick my 3pm cookie habit, and I’m ready to take things to the next level by initiating a rigorous daily exercise regimen. Want to know how not to go about it? By making a resolution, then gritting your teeth each day through a 45 minute workout, then grimly enduring a salad. Yet this is how many people approach forming a new, good habit, and why most of them fail.
For the habit to stick, the reward part of cue – routine – reward, says Duhigg, can’t come six weeks later when you step on a scale. It has to be immediate. Instead of a salad, Duhigg suggests rewarding yourself with a small piece of chocolate after a workout (if you like chocolate. If not, then a beer perhaps.) This should be sufficient to make exercise something your brain looks forward to, rather than something it dreads and will invent any possible excuse to avoid.
It’s a little embarrassing to realize that our sophisticated brain is so easily fooled. The exercise doesn’t cause the chocolate bar to appear, but the association is formed nonetheless. Give it a try. The next time you hear the word gym you might just start salivating.