According to Charles Duhigg, “Change might not be fast and it isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.” lack of awareness is the cause of many people’s negative habits. Sometimes habits require no reasoning imaginable, it is a learned behavior repeated regularly or practiced. Habits usually start as a conscious decision, then eventually become something that is done automatically and without any thoughts of the custom. Charles Duhigg manages to explain in the bestseller, “The power of habits” why habits exist and how individuals can change them. The habit loop is what psychologists and Charles Duhigg use in the novel to explain impulsive behaviors. It involves identifying a cue that triggers the habit process within the brain, then figuring out the routine of the habit, and finally interpret the reward of the habit.
The first step in changing a habit requires you to understanding it. Duhigg states in the novel that, “you cannot extinguish a bad habit, you can only change it.” At the beginning of the power of a habit, the author tells a story about a remarkable 34-year-old woman named Lisa Allen who started smoking and drinking as a teenager. Lisa was obese, could not keep a steady job, and was in deep debt. She fell into a deep depression when her husband announced that he was leaving her for a younger woman. Lisa even went through a dark period of mourning, then spying, harassing, and stalking her ex-husband and his girlfriend. While there, Lisa then has an experience in the desert that changes her life and perspective around. Lisa decides that she will go home in a year and instead travel across the desert. Lisa then decides that she would need to quit smoking to reach this goal.
In addition, Lisa’s sense of liberation from that one action sparked a sequence of changes that led her to success. Deciding to abandon one tiny destructive behavior helped shift Lisa’s perception that day in Egypt which made the big difference in her life. Over the next six months, by focusing on one practice Lisa replaced smoking with jogging to give her the same sense of reward after each run. While Lisa met her goal one year later, it was not as easy as she originally planned. But Lisa met her goal and seen the transformative nature of changing one habit. From there, Lisa decides to also lose sixty pounds, bought a house, received her degree, landed a career job that she held for over three years, and became engaged. Scientist’s studies show images of Lisa’s brain and her old habits as neurological patterns gradually being overridden by new habits and urges.
Furthermore, changing one keystone habit is like a domino effect. When we become aware of a routine that seems permeant, it helps us consider changes in other aspects of our life. Because Lisa had the patience and trusted the process, she now gets to live more years as a happy and successful person. All because Lisa had the willpower to start with just one thing that she could control a window of better opportunities and habits. We perform them automatically; these actions are habitual.
In conclusion, the habit loop is what psychologists and Charles Duhigg use in the novel to explain impulsive behaviors. It involves identifying a cue that triggers the habit process within the brain, then figuring out the routine of the habit, and finally interpret the reward of the habit. The author uses many stories in The Power of Habit to prove his thesis that habits affect everyone and how they are important. The many examples prove a strong argument because the author uses relatable stories that the reader can connect and relate to and see habits in their everyday lifestyle that are similar to those stated in the book.