How Do Habits REALLY Work? (THE TRUTH)


Hey, Improvement Pill here I want to
welcome you to the second lesson of the team course if you haven’t watched
lesson number one I suggest that you pause this video right now and click on
the link in the description below because if you want to get the most out
of this course you’re gonna have to watch all of the videos in today’s
lesson we’re gonna talk about how habits work or more specifically how they are
structured because remember our strategy for the next couple of months is to
focus all of our energy on creating good new habits and in order for us to do so
we’re gonna have to understand how they work
psychologists know that there’s a certain structure that all habits follow
there’s dozens of models out there depicting this but for the purposes of
this video to make things easier for all of us to understand I’m gonna use my
favorite model the habit loop model which was introduced by Charles Duhigg
in his book the power of habit the habit loop model contains three steps the
first step is the Q the Q can come in many shapes and forms it can be
something in your environment like an object a sound or a smell it could also
be a certain time of day a location or even an emotion whatever it is the Q
serves one purpose it tells your brain that it should start the habit and
that’s where the next step of the habit loop comes in the second step of the
habit loop is called the routine the routine is the actual habit itself it’s
the behavior that you perform so if you have a bad habit of smoking cigarettes
it’s the act of taking out your pack lighting your cigarette and taking a
poll this entire process is the routine the third and final step of the habit
loop is the reward the reward can come in many shapes and forms and it varies
from person to person it can even be a combination of different things for our
example of smoking cigarettes it could be a quick spike in our dopamine levels
which nicotine provides it could be a break from work or it could even be the
good feeling that comes from socializing for people that like to smoke in groups
the reason the habit loop is called a loop is because of the reward if the
reward for the habit is satisfying enough your brain says okay if this cue
appears and we do this routine then we get a good reward and it keeps this
information tucked away for next time so the next time the cue appears your brain
says oh look it’s that cue again if we do the same routine as last time we’ll
get a good reward just like last time and each and every time you reach the
reward this specific loop becomes stronger and stronger to the point where
you no longer even have to think about the action you just do it when you reach
this point where you no longer even have to think about doing the routine that’s
when a habit is officially formed and that’s the habit loop now you’re
probably wondering well this is good information and all but how exactly can
I use this to overcome my own addiction well this is important because it allows
you to discover the cue routine reward of your current addiction it’s important
to find out the cues for your addiction because these are the cues that seem to
appear in your life all of the time you can take these cues and attach them to
more positive routines like exercise or meditation and if we can train our brain
to associate these cues with those routines we will have successfully
replaced a bad habit with a good one we’ll dive deeper into this concept
throughout the course now it’s important to become aware of what your rewards are
because by doing so you’ll discover the driving force behind your addiction
let’s say for example you realize that the reward for your pornography habit is
that it helps you relieve stress maybe you have a tough day at work work maybe
you had a bad interaction with a girl you like some of us turn to porn to
relieve this sort of stress if that’s the case then we need to address this
problem you’re not going to suddenly stop having
stress in your life so we need to pick a habit that can relieve stress a good
example of this is the habit of lifting heavy weights
remember habits cannot truly be erased the cue and reward can’t really be
changed but we can alter the routine and that’s the idea behind this entire
course replace not a race so what I want you to do right now is to grab a pen and
paper and start sketching out the habit loop for your own addiction the routine
is pretty obvious it’s the bad habit itself but the cue can be a little
tricky most of the time there’s more than one cue there’s a variety of
different situations that prompts us to indulge in our addiction so think of as
many as possible and write them down for example here’s a list of the cues that I
wrote back in the day when I was in the process of overcoming my own pornography
addiction if I was drunk if
felt rejected if I had my phone or laptop on my bed before going to sleep
now when it comes to identifying the rewards it can be a bit tricky as well
for one every single bad habit that is addictive involves an increase in
dopamine levels but we have to dig deeper than that and uncover the main
rewards that we crave in the book the power of habit Charles Duhigg looked at
his bad habit of eating cookies every single day at first glance you might
think well the reward is probably the sugar rush or the satisfaction of hunger
but Duhigg soon discovered that it was actually the reward of socializing
because he would get up from his desk walk to the cafeteria buy the cookie and
talk to his co-workers he discovered this by noticing that just eating the
cookie wasn’t enough to keep him satisfied he would always want more we
need to think about our own addiction with this attention to detail a bad
habit like pornography might provide you with a sense of validation because to
your brain there’s hundreds of girls that want to sleep with you another
reward could be the fact that it helps you fall asleep it could also be
something that relieves stress or maybe it could be something that makes you
feel like you accomplished something there’s many many possibilities and the
only way to really determine what the rewards are is by analyzing your own
life if you’re someone who doesn’t feel the urges to masturbate after spending
the entire day having a great time with your friends then the reward for your
addiction might be that it satisfies your social needs if you don’t feel the
urges to masturbate when you get a massage one day after feeling stressed
at work your reward for your pornography addiction might be the fact that it
relieves stress so it’s really up to you to think about this part carefully and
hypothesize what the rewards are for your addiction chances are you’re not
going to finish this diagram in one sitting you’re probably going to think
of some cues and come to the realization about the rewards throughout the next
week or so so make sure you add those to your diagram because it’s gonna play an
extremely important role throughout this course in our next lesson we’re gonna
talk about how long it takes to form a habit there’s a huge misconception going
around about this some people say it takes 21 days some say it takes 90 for
the most part they’re all wrong the team course was brought to you for absolutely
free with the help of the patrons of this channel if you’re someone who has
found value in this course or would like to help me continue to make these types
of videos for free then you should visit my patreon page right here or
in the description below to check out the perks of becoming a patron and
besides that stay tuned

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Reader Comments

  1. Clinton Watkins

    I just finished "The Power of Habit." I have to say Duhigg makes a lot of sense. I'm using this to quit smoking, and for the first time I asked myself, "Why do I smoke?" I came up with a few rewards like socializing, relaxing, getting to step outside and getting away from my work area. Sometimes, however, I don't know what the reward is. I just fire up a cigarette for no real reason. I'm not fitting for nicotine or wanting to socialize or relax. So the first part of my plan for the last three days or so has been to think before I light up. Sometimes chewing gum or playing with my fidget spinner takes its place. Thanks for your video and thanks for telling me about this excellent book.

  2. RFK Beast

    I love you! I'm sorry I'm honestly suuuper broke! But as soon as I get an actual job that pays more then $10 an hour I'll give you monayyyyyyyu

  3. Christopher Agha

    Can I still apply this course even if I don’t have an addiction? I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, nor do I have an addiction to porn as I can stop it whenever I want to and forget about it altogether a lot of times

  4. 86- 239

    I've been trying Nofap for quite a while but I never managed to stick with it, now I know it's because I kept trying to erase habbits instead of replacing the routine.

  5. Canem Crow

    I love how open you are. I love how you find value in your past so that you can help us get to the point that you had to get to; all so we can change for the better. I feel like you're my best friend, having a sit down with me, and all the while being an encouraging teacher. Your videos make me feel included, even though there is really no one to prove myself to. I don't know how you do it <3

  6. Roman R

    It may be possible to destroy a habit — by changing the association between its trigger and an emotion. You could connect the trigger to an unpleasant emotion. Paul McKenna has demonstrated that on stage.

  7. Stylist Decc

    Great vids but I can't watch it and listen out loud because people started thinking I had a porn addiction because it's mentioned so much in the Tamed Course vids. 😂🤣😃😄😅😆 No I am not addicted to porn.

  8. Emxn M

    As a male uni student, I can say this is the most amazing and enlightening course I have observed! I would and will recommend that everyone in my position in life, especially students, should watch these video classes. FYI including my actual uni classes. I would become a patriot immediately unfortunately, I have fallen victim to a few of the psychological traps you so beautify uncover and that has landed me in the unadmired broke student population! But not to worry, after your classes, i shall rise above the ground, dust myself off these bad habits, and set course to return baring fruits as a token of my appreciation, Asante sana (Swahili btw).

  9. Kay - Den

    I have to commend you on how open you were with your past addiction. Most people addicted to porn usually try to hide it, however you decided to use it, on a very public platform, to relate to your audience! It's very humbling…..

    Also you mentioned you coach people, what do you do for a living (if you don't mind me asking)?

  10. TheApotheosis OfGDot

    You don't know true addiction… it's not as easy as just the mental fix, it soon becomes true physical pain and sickness

  11. DoomsYann

    So can any1 help me with this: i'm living since January alone in an apartment and I've come to a really bad habit of letting the chores I have to do away until it becomes a mess. i.e. If i have to do the dishes I always leave the dishes pile up until it becomes a problem. How can i find the cue's for that habit? or how do i approach this?

  12. Vishal Prabhu

    Hey, love your videos and the effort you put in to this but one small suggestion is that , the videos get boring , you know like mind drifts away no matter how hard you concentrate , try ditching the writing anime once in a while in the video and add eye catching stuff or real pics maybe that'll keep us in path , what do you think ?

  13. Sarah Louthe

    Also, part of my morning routine at the gym includes listening to stuff about motivation and self-improvement while I workout, tan, get massage, etc. If I'm sore, I go super light and then do some yoga.

  14. Sarah Louthe

    Now I quit smoking and sugar, which sucked. I also used nicotine patches and nicotine gum together for the smoking but they weren't enough without the morning routine.

  15. emDawg

    Are there any other binge eaters here? I binge eat and I hope this can actually help because I don’t actually know what triggers my binging. It’s hard to note a cue but it got me thinking that when I do this, I’m not conscious until halfway starting. This would still apply the same way correct? Even if it’s a habit that strikes every other day?

  16. Gene Cubitt

    just started the course – wish me luck! also if theres anyone elso whose just starting out, maybe we could share our experiences/offer support. like they have that support network in AA. hit me up!

  17. Gene Cubitt

    im wondering if we have to completely leave our addictions? as in video games, im addicted and suffer the negative consequences, but is it possible to play from time to time and enjoy the benefits without suffering from the neggative aspects of addiction? and if we fear our addictions so much that we dare not even go near them, do not still have power/controll over us?
    would love any oppinions or information about this if anyone knows anything would be much appreciated!

  18. Krista Noelle Barril

    I’m breaking the habit of using animals byproducts by making compassionate choices and decisions. Putting that out then to help make it stick 😬

  19. Professor Maven

    I've been taking cold showers for more than 1 year now. I don't know how long it takes to create a habit, but to me, It took a pretty long time for it to be 100% effortless.

  20. mike

    This changed my life! I could never stay sober, if i managed a day it truly felt like an accomplishment. coming up to 6 months now. Not a drop.

    I have never bought in to help groups and I have always laughed at people like Improvement pill, how wrong I was. I'm a different happier more focused person now, Thank you.

  21. The Boiz

    Honestly your an amazing person thank you for all the great information that you give for free I truly do feel you and people like you make the world a better place

  22. Dmytro Kachkovskyi

    Guys i have a problem . I can't wake up from first time. I always continue my alarm . This problem is bother me for a year. When i wake up first time , i just really want nothin , just continue snoozing.

  23. Pbnj11 Decor

    I feel like my fiends are better than me in every way.. looks, smarts, talents.. I’m 10. I can’t work, I can’t get money for pretty clothes, shoes or room stuff.. I’m ashamed off my family.. but hopefully this course will help me stop thinking this trash.

  24. PortableXombie

    I was listening to this while doing the dishes. I had the window open. My neighbors now probably think I have a porn addiction. Great video though! Thank you for this series. I am working my way through it

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