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How are Habits Created?

Your basal ganglia have this stockpile of data that it is going off of and if you’re going to change a bad habit into a good habit you’re going to have to fight.

The basal ganglia is an area in the brain where habits are formed. Making decisions takes a lot of energy and can be taxing of the brain. The basal ganglia is looking for ways to build habits. It doesn’t matter to it if it’s good or bad- that’s not their job. Their job is to look for habits – or the habit loop.

What is The Habit Loop?

  1. Queue: the trigger to say that is what we’re doing
  2. Routine: physical, mental, or emotional
  3. Reward: how you feel


The habits are formed over time and no matter what they are being created. The basal ganglia don’t ask permission.

Example: When your alarm clock goes off in the morning do you crave a run or to hit the snooze button? When you have a successful day, do you have a drink or go hang out with a friend?


The craving after a queue happens your brain starts to crave the reward before the routine even happens.


How to Change the Habit?

Keep the same queue and same reward – just change the routine. It’s very difficult but very simple. You have to believe you can change. Tell loved ones about the queues and rewards and the routine you’re trying to change. Very important- focus on one routine at a time.



Find out more from John by listening to his podcast. You’ll hear real-life examples of business habit loops that improve companies, keystone habits, and how habits are not all equal.


Listen to “Habits” on Spreaker.

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