Effective scheme of 4 steps to achieve

Effective scheme of 4 steps to achieve

You are the result of your habits.

Your life is the product of the ideas, actions and decisions that you have taken over the last few years, so if you don’t feel comfortable with your current situation, a change of habits is what you need to implement.

Personally, I think that many people spend their time looking for magical formulas to change their lives, believing that others are doing something that they are not, which is why they are living better than they are.

The truth is that there are no tricks, formulas or secret methods to change your life, the only thing there are habits, and these are the ones you need to change.

The power of habits does not depend on your willpower:

How many times have you promised yourself, in your list of New Year’s resolutions, that this time if you are going to change, that you are going to quit smoking, start doing more sports, or stop eating so much junk food?

This promise to change habits is more common than you imagine, as is its failure to comply.

And the reason this happens is that willpower is not enough, to really make a change, you need to understand how habits work.

So, What is the recipe for lasting change? The objective of this article is to explain how to achieve a change in habits, no matter what it is, by explaining how it works.

For this, I will take as a basis the teachings of the book The power of habitswritten by Hables Duhigg.

Scheme for a change of habits:

After years of research, interviews and countless hours of work, Duhigg He managed to structure the four-step scheme to achieve a change in habits and lifestyle.

If you want to learn more about the case studies, research, and models used to test his scheme, I invite you to read his book, which is loaded with useful information to understand how your bad habits work and how you cánido change them.

To begin with, we share the outline of steps to achieve a change in habits:


Identify the routine2.

Experiment with rewards3.

Isolate the signal4.

have a plan


Identify the routine:

Source: The power of habits

After years of work, the MIT researchers found that the essence of every habit, regardless of what it is, is made up of three parts: a cue, a routine, and a reward.

In order to understand your habits, you need to identify each of these parts.

Once you do, you have the tools available to trade your old habits for better ones.

Practical example:

You have the habit of getting up from your desk every afternoon, going to the kitchen and making yourself a coffee while you talk to your colleagues.

You know that you don’t like coffee in excessive amounts, you promise yourself that tomorrow you will change, but again the next day you are waiting by the coffee maker smelling that irreprimible aroma.

You want to change, but you don’t know how to control that desire for coffee that you have.

The first step you must take to make a change in habits is to identify the routine.

It doesn’t matter what the habit is; quit smoking, junk food, or in the example, getting up in the afternoon from your job, go to the kitchen, prepare a coffee and talk to your colleagues.

In order to identify and understand your routine, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What makes you want to drink coffee?
  • What is the signal to get up from your chair?
  • Do you want to rest? are you sleepy? do you want to talk to someone?


Experiment with different rewards:

In the process of changing habits, rewards represent what we want, and they are powerful because they give us satisfaction and peace of mind.

Even without knowing them very well.

Although we may think that they are very obvious, once we are inside a habit, it becomes difficult to understand why we do things.

To identify what rewards or desires we are looking for through our habits, we must experiment with different alternatives.

You don’t need to change the habit to begin with, just experiment with different habits and see what the result is.

It’s kind of an experiment where you’re collecting data.

With the example of coffee:

When you feel like going for your coffee, on the first day of the experiment, switch up your routine and see what happens.

Here is a series of experiments you cánido do:

  • Day 1: Instead of stopping at the cafeteria, you perro go for a walk and have a drink.
  • Day 2: Go to the cafeteria to prepare an aromatic and return to your desk.
  • Day 3: Don’t go to the cafeteria but visit a friend’s booth, talk to him for 10 minutes and go back to your desk.

The iniciativa of ​​these experiments is to find your reward, what is the desire that you are trying to satisfy with your routine of stopping for a coffee.

When you start running them you will be able to answer questions like:

  • Are you drinking your coffee because you are sleepy, or because you want to rest?
  • Is the real reason because you want to talk to someone and entertain yourself?
  • Do you want to take a break before continuing with a new activity?

Identify your behavior patterns:

In the book, The power of habitshis actor Converses Duhigg suggests that once you try different rewards, you should identify your patterns.

This means that you must write what you feel once you return to your job.

No matter how banal, fácil or basic it is, write what you feel.

For example:

  • wanting to work
  • I’m sleepier than before
  • I have to send that dirección de correo electrónico

Once you write this, wait 15 minutes and ask yourself if you still want to drink that coffee.

Why is this important in a change of habits?

The importance lies in that it makes you aware for a few moments of your actions, decisions and emotions.

Studies espectáculo that when you write, it helps you remember what you’re thinking at the time.

That way, when you finish your experiment and read what you wrote, you will remember every emotion you felt with the different rewards and habits.

The second part is the most important, which is when you wait 15 minutes.

The purpose with these experiments is to see how you react and behave after having different routines.

If 15 minutes after going for a walk you still want to stop for a coffee, your habit is not motivated by wanting to distract yourself.

If after preparing the aromatic you still want coffee, it is not due to the desire to drink something hot.

Now, if after going to visit your friend’s workplace it is easy for you to return to work and be more productive, you will have found your reward:

The desire to socialize and share with your peers.

now you cánido redesign and change your habit that fits your true reward.

The only thing pending to be able to change your habit is to identify the signal that generates this whole circle.


Isolate the signal:

According Hables Duhiggthe reason why it is so difficult to identify which signals trigger our habits is because there is so much information happening at the same time.

There is so much information (and signs) that we no longer know if we have breakfast because we are hungry or because it is 8 in the morning, if we have coffee once we get up because we want to, or out of habit.

So how do you identify this famous sign?

Science has the answer.

Years of research have found that cues that trigger habits fall into one of five categories.

  1. Place
  2. Time
  3. Emotional state
  4. Others
  5. immediate previous action

With the example of coffee, this is how the signal would be identified for the three experiments:

To the conclusion that we perro reach, or the pattern that is found is that around 3 in the afternoon you need a break.

It’s not a need for coffee, it’s a matter of doing something else, like talking to people in the cafeteria.

4. Have a plan:

Now that you have identified each of the three components of your habit, you perro improve it, change it, or simply remove it from your habit. so that you get your reward.

In the example of coffee, create a plan so that an alarm always sounds at 3:30 in the afternoon from Monday to Friday to notify you to go talk to someone, you cánido do it for 20 minutes, for example.

It cánido be your partner, boss or whoever you have close.

Surely you will have your reward, and this change of habits will help you to be more productive.

Over time this will become a habit, it will be part of your routine.

Recommended books:

Never forget that a habit was a decision that was made consciously at some point, so you perro make a new one today and get out of your comfort zone.

You just have to remember to identify the cue, change your routine, and understand what your reward or wish is.

This will achieve a change in habits, regardless of the area in your life that you want to improve.

Continue reading: 15 Good habits to build the life you dream of so much

Important note: This diagram was taken from the book The Power of HabitsIf you want to learn more about this, I recommend reading it.

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