Creating a New Habit

Behavioral patterns are considered habits when they meet the criteria laid out in the well-known habit loop: (1) trigger, (2) recurring behavior (the habit itself), and (3) reward. The trigger prompts the habit to occur pretty much subconsciously. It can be a regular time, circumstance, location, emotional event, smell, sound, or anything else you associate with the habit. The reward is a payoff you desire. Rewards are often an emotional response, like feeling elated when you complete your morning exercise or pleasure from a bite of chocolate. A reward can also be the opposite, an escape from emotion, such as that achieved from consuming too much alcohol. Continue reading