I want to spend some time over the next few weeks posting about habit formation. I've done a lot of reading/YouTube watching over the past few months about this, and I think the information will be particularly useful while we're all practicing social distancing and experiencing disruptions in our normal routine. Creating good habits and extinguishing bad ones has been a struggle for me personally (specifically in the context of diet and exercise) and I think this is an issue that affects many of us. While stuck in our homes, we're especially at risk of breaking from a good diet (or making a bad diet worse) and regressing in our fitness routine. How can we combat this? First, we need to understand how habits (good or bad) are formed in the first place before we can suppress the bad and cultivate the good.
Attached is a link to a video (3 minutes) by Dr. BJ Fogg from Stanford University. His research focuses on habit formation, and the video briefly discusses the 3 necessary components for creating a behavior. There's also a graph attached which provides a visual for understanding his behavior model. The key takeaway for today's purposes is to realize that in order for any behavior to occur you need 3 things: motivation, ability, and a trigger. He explains this in more detail in the clip. Before you try to change your behavior, spend some time deep in thought and identify if/how these 3 variables are affecting it. For me, battling dietary triggers has been an issue while working from home during the past few weeks. My computer is set up in the kitchen so the cue to eat whatever and whenever, as well as to eat haphazardly, is constantly present. Feel free to share your thoughts and let us know what's been disrupting your routine.