I just finished reading The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. It was an absolutely fantastic read. The book delves deep into what makes a habit a habit, how habits are formed and most importantly, what we can do to change the habits that are not helping us achieve our goals.

The "Habit Loop" has three basic components:

  1. Cue - This is the trigger that tells your brain to go into "auto pilot" and which habit to use.
  2. Routine - These are the set of activities that you perform automatically after you encounter the cue.
  3. Reward - The reward is what tells our brain whether to "save" the routine as a habit or not. If the reward is great enough, then the brain will remember the routine and "run it" the next time it encounters the cue.

The more times we encounter this loop, the more automatic the routine becomes.

The examples and stories used throughout the book were fantastic. From mice running through mazes to the success of toothpaste, Duhigg presented many examples of the habit loop.