Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
3 Dec 2020
11:11 am

How to create a new habit, or break a bad one

Citizen Reporter

'Understanding how to break a habit into pieces and then putting a plan into place will help you increase your chances of success,' says cultural expert Helene Vermaak.

"Creating a habit is more about strategy than determination," says Cultural Experts. Picture: Supplied

With 2020 coming to an end, new year’s resolutions and goals will soon be the next thing on everyone’s lips.

Cultural expert Helene Vermaak from The Human Edge, says one thing this year has taught us is that we have very little control over what happens.

She said life was short and we needed to use the time we have to align our behaviour with our desires.

“What this means is that creating a habit is more about strategy than determination.

“Understanding how to break a habit into pieces and then putting a plan into place will help you increase your chances of success,” says Vermaak.

According to Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, the science behind habits showed that a habit consists of three parts – a cue, routine, and reward – called the “Habit Loop”.

He went on to explain a cue as a prompt and the certain triggers one did in a routine, while a routine was the behaviour and the reward being the payoff or the satisfaction we got from meeting the need.

Vermaak said that by applying Duhigg’s “Habit Loop” could change a bad habit or build a new one.

She said distinguishing between a good or a bad habit could assist us in moving towards our goals in our professional lives.

According to renowned speaker Sabina Nazwaz, adopting healthy habits was preventative and helped build a firm foundation on which to stack successes.

She said establishing more productive practices saved time in the long run by avoiding wasted efforts and messes we would otherwise have had to clean up.

“I created a tool called the Yes List to help dozens of executives ditch bad behaviours and enhance their impact by embracing new routines. We use a Yes List to record whether we did [yes] or didn’t [no] practise the actions we’re working on. Tracking a Yes List takes 20 seconds a day and yields significant returns,” she said.

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