The Power Of Habit - Charles Duhigg
"The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg was the book I decided to read for this class. This book addressed the science of habits and how they are developed. He discusses how habits develop, how they may be altered, and how new behaviors can replace old ones. This book discussed the idea of habit formation. Duhigg explains how reinforcements can be used to mold habits and change undesirable behavior. This book is made up of short stories and case studies that show us how habits are significant and may develop or change.
My favorite part of this book was chapter 4 titled “The Golden Rule of Habit Change”. I enjoyed this chapter because he used a football-related narrative, which made it fascinating to read about, but I also liked it since it had crucial information. Duhigg describes that in order to change a habit you should keep the cue and reward the same but change the routine which is the middle part. This chapter was also inspiring to me because it described how the coach had been rejected by multiple teams before one gave him a chance, and now his teams are among the best-performing ones and have broken records. This demonstrates persistence and the strength of habit. This brought to mind the reinforcement slides we went over. He said it is more likely to change the pattern and habit if the reinforcement is steady. From reading about this I’m interested in the kind of reinforcement he was using to help these players break old habits and develop new ones.
In chapter 7 titled “How Target knows what you want before you do” reminded me of one of the motivation lectures titled “Food”. In this chapter, the author shows how Target arranges their food such that you will select it first and how retailers know that if they do this, you will be more likely to select junk food when you come across it in the future. This reminded me of the slide “food preferences” from the “food” lecture. When learning about food preferences it stood out to me that we develop innate food preferences when we are babies, but as we get older we develop learned preferences. Even though they are not entirely related, if retailers have a good understanding of customer preferences, they will probably be better equipped to market and encourage people to buy things.
I decided to design a poster that represents the characteristics of a habit. I added the cue, routine, and reward. In order to change a habit, you must change the routine that is in the middle. To show a habit that is broken down into its various parts, I created a picture.
I've learned from reading this book that habits are changeable and that we have the power to alter our own behaviors. It has shown me that through small wins we are able to achieve bigger goals.I started to think about my own habits as I was reading this book over the past several weeks. I noticed that I was beginning to get overwhelmed by the amount of things I had to do. I was taking seven classes over the summer, in addition to working and packing since I'm moving. I had to review my daily routines in order to accomplish as much as possible because I had a lot to do each day. Normally I would have a cue such as boredom, then I would get on social media, and I would reward myself by watching TikTok. Because of this, I felt like I was getting nothing done because I would spend hours on TikTok. After reading about habit loops I began to put it into practice in my daily life. Whenever I would begin to feel bored, I would get one assignment done, and then I would take a break after and allow myself to get on TikTok. This made it easier for me to develop the habit of finishing my schoolwork before taking a break rather than letting it pile up while I was on my phone. Changing that small habit helped me increase my productivity, and overall manage my time better. This book has helped me learn many things that I will continue to implement in my daily life.