What Are Habit Loops?

JT - Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits.-2

Before we talk about “habit loops”, let’s make sure we are on the same page around habits.

What Are Habits?

Habits –

  • “are routines of behavior that are repeated regularly and tend to occur subconsciously” – according to Wikipedia
  • “a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance” – Meriam-Webster Dictionary
  • “a recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior that is acquired through frequent repetition” – the Free Dictionary
  • “something that you do often or regularly, often without thinking about it” – MacMillan Dictionary

Now we are on the same page about habits, let discuss habit loops!

What Are Habit Loops?

Behavioural teachers, coaches and psychologists call the structures behind habits, “habit loops”. In the book, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg shares discusses that habit loops consist of three main parts.

  • First there is a trigger or cue (e.g. location, time of day, emotional state, thought, belief, other people or a pattern of behaviour). This is often referred to as the why…
  • which then triggers a routine (i.e. ask yourself what triggers the behaviour itself) – often referred to as the what and how, and
  • then you get the reward you want (e.g. identify what reward is driving your habit – maybe what are you craving or averting?).

When this pattern of “cue, routine, reward” gets repeated it becomes more and more automated. Some of these “habit loops” are conscious and some of them are unconscious or occur automatically without awareness. By developing awareness of the habit loop, we can start to transform draining habits in to empowering habits for wellbeing.

Over to You…

If you are ready to reclaim your courage and take the next step towards freedom and living with your whole heart, why not join our Toolkit?

Reference –

Duhigg, C. (2012). The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. USA: Random House.

Posted in

Leave a Comment