Key Points

  • Generally, habits can be broken down into a 3 part loop: First, you sense an external cue. Next comes the routine. Finally, you get a reward.
  • The habit formation framework is: Identify the routine, Experiment with rewards, Isolate the cue, Have a plan.
  • Stopping an unhealthy habit can be difficult because of the craving you get, this craving leading you through the habit loop to the reward. The good news is that we can use cravings and rewards in order to form healthy habits.
  • The Golden Rule of Habit Change: You can't extinguish a bad habit, you can only change it. Therefore, the key for quitting a strong habit or an addiction is not to resist the craving but to redirect it, meaning substitute it for another.
  • To change an unhealthy habit, you must keep the old cue, and deliver the old reward, but insert a new routine. 
  • You first have to believe you can break a habit. If you believe you can change, then the change becomes real.
  • Not all habits are equal. Keystone habits are more important than others as when you stick to them, their positive effects spill over into other areas of your life.
  • Once willpower became stronger, it touched everything. When you actively engage in habits that demand resolution, you can strengthen your willpower. Willpower is like a muscle and therefore must be rested before it becomes totally overworked and exhausted
  • Crises offer the chance to reform habits. Good leaders sense crises before they happen.
  • Your habits are what you choose them to be. Change might not be fast and easy, but with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped. The key is ongoing small wins.


The above is inspired from the bestselling book "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg

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