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The Power of Habit

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The habit loop: cue → craving → routine → reward.
Craving: hard to stay at a habit without a clear mental reward to crave for [Pepsodent toothpaste and the tingling feeling after brushing, Febreeze and the smell after spraying]
Golden rule: take existing cues and rewards, only replace the routine [Handegg]
You can’t really eradicate a habit, so stick to your coping mechanisms [Addicts leaving support groups once they feel strong enough]
Belief that change is possible and support from other people is a crucial part of habit change. [AA]


Keystone habits: ones that, once learned, have a domino effect on all the other habits. A habit that changes everything else. [Alcoa and worker safety, Olympic swimmer and visualization]
Small wins: create environment, where consecutive successes are just a natural course of action [Homophobia and Library of Congress]

“Small wins are a steady application of a small advantage. Once a small win has been accomplished, forces are set in motion that favor another small win.”


Willpower is a muscle:

Willpower requires the feeling of agency, of being in control

Design your willpower habits in advance – design for the toughest parts. [Starbucks and angry customers, elderly people after hip transplant]

In stubborn organizations, immune to improvement, the way to its habits is to find or create a crisis. The sense of looming catastrophe makes it clear that something has to change and organizational habits become malleable.

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. The crisis provides opportunity to do things you could not do before.”

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