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Our current lives are essentially the result of our habits. We wake up, have breakfast with a Jake Shake, go to work, have a Vitamin Bar as a snack, dinner, watch a series and sleep. It all comes from our habits. The things we do daily and spend time on ultimately shape the person we are, our beliefs and our personality.
But what if we want to improve? What if we want to form new habits? How do we approach that? There appears to be a useful framework that makes it easier to stick to new habits so that we can improve our health, work and overall quality of life.
The Science of How Habits Work:
The process of building a habit can be divided into four simple steps: cue, craving, response and reward. Breaking this down helps us understand what a habit is, how it works and how to improve it.
Cue: This is the starting point of the habit and triggers the brain to initiate a behavior. Cues are information that predicts a reward, such as signals of primary rewards (healthy food, water, sex) or secondary rewards (money, fame, power).
Craving: Craving is the driving force behind any habit. It is not the craving for the habit itself, but for the change of state it brings about. Cravings vary from person to person and are triggered by different cues.
Response: This is the actual habit being performed, both mentally and physically. Whether a response occurs depends on motivation and the difficulty of the behavior.
Reward: Rewards are the end goal of any habit. They satisfy desire and teach us which actions are worth remembering for the future.
The Habit Feedback Loop:
The four stages of a habit form a continuous feedback loop that is active with each breath. This “habit loop” constantly scans the environment, predicts what will happen next, tries different responses and learns from the results.
This loop can be divided into two phases: the problem phase (cue and craving) and the solution phase (response and reward). Each habit is driven by the desire to solve a problem.
The Four Laws of Behavior Change:
To create good habits and break bad ones, the following four laws are suggested:
Make it Clear (Cue): Make sure the cue for the habit is clear.
Make it Attractive (Craving): Make the habit attractive.
Make it Easy (Response): Simplify the habit.
Make it Satisfying (Reward): Provide a satisfying reward.
By reversing these laws, bad habits can be broken:
Make it Invisible (Cue): Hide the cue for the habit.
Make it Unattractive (Craving): Make the habit unappealing.
Make it Difficult (Response): Make the habit difficult.
Make it Unsatisfactory (Reward): Provide an unsatisfactory reward.
Examples of cues:
Habits start with a clear cue that initiates the new habit. A proven method is to link a cue to one that is already a habit. This is also called habit stacking.
When I get out of bed, I immediately make my bed.
After brushing my teeth, I do 10 push-ups.
When I go to work, I turn off all the lights in the house.
When I exercise, I take a Jake Shake first.
After my lunch break, I take a Vitaminbar as a snack.
How Jake helps create new habits
The habits you have or want to develop yourself start at cue. For example, you want to eat healthier and be fitter this year. Maybe you want to do something good for the world by eating less meat and reduce food waste. Fortunately, these habits are easy to apply in your life! In fact, Jake has ideal products for living healthier and fitter, which are also good for the environment and your emissions! Our Jake Shakes and Vitaminbars contain all the healthy nutrients you need to avoid wasting food. They are also completely vegan!
If you want to teach yourself new habits and change behavior, we make the cue even easier for you. Start now with our accessible Starter Box that includes all the popular products. In addition, make starting your new habit very easy by ordering the Shakes and Vitaminbars at a 10% discount through our subscription.
Clear, J. (2018). Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones. Random House.