Stopping a bad habit

Stop the habit cycle

According to the latest psychology research our habits are made up of a cycle of trigger-behavior-reward. In order to change a habit what you have to do is to keep the reward, but link it to a different behavior.


In order to end a habit what you have to do is to identify the trigger and then do a different behavior until the original trigger-behavior link is broken.


Triggers almost always are one of these categories



Emotional state

Other people

Straight after doing something

(source: Duhigg, C. (2012) The power of habit. 978-1-4000-6928-6 page 283)


So if you want to find out what triggers smoking for example, every time you get the urge to smoke, write down:


Where was I at time?

What time was it ?

What state was I in emotionally?

Who was there?

What had I just done?


From examining the answers, a pattern should emerge. Becoming aware of that pattern will suggest a strategy for disrupting the habit cycle.



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