In Time for New Year’s Resolutions: “The Power of Habit” New Edition

By Hannah Lee

Do you make New Year’s resolutions, and are they like “piecrust promises” — as Mary Poppins says — and easily broken? If so, you should know that the paperback edition of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by the New York Times reporter, Charles Duhigg, will be released on January 7th.

In the book, Duhigg teaches techniques to free oneself from damaging habits, whether with health, diet, or finances.

In an interview, he recommended the three-step habit loop:

First, there is a cue that tells your brain to go into automatic mode. Then, there is the routine. And finally, a reward, which helps your brain learn to crave the behavior.

For instance, studies indicate that if you want to develop a running habit in 2014, you should choose a cue, like putting your running shoes next to your bed. And then, give yourself a reward, like a piece of chocolate, when you get home from jogging. That way, the cue and the reward become neurologically intertwined.

Eventually, when your brain sees the sneakers, it starts craving the chocolate, and that makes it easier to hit the pavement each day. And in a couple of weeks, you won’t need the treat any more — your brain will come to see the workout as a reward itself.