Cues and Triggers

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Last week on my vlog—or video blog— we learned about the importance of a cue when it comes to having good and bad habits. Most of us are looking to break bad habits. So, in our example, we focused on eating left-over birthday cake in the refrigerator after a long stressful day at work. We learned the three parts of what makes a habit: the cue, the routine and then the reward. The cue is something that happens— an event, an action, a person or persons or an emotional state.

In the example, the cue was that after a stressful day( an event) you came home and opened the refrigerator( an action).

The routine is the response to the cue that occurred. In other words, you eat something. You open the refrigerator every time you come home after a stressful day and you always eat something. The reward, the third part of a habit, and as in the example, you eat the cake.

Since cues are sparks for habits, try to cut out as many cues or triggers as possible. Or better yet, develop a healthful cue. If you tend to come home from a stressful day and open the refrigerator, try entering form the front door (away from the kitchen) if possible. Or, simply avoid the fridge by heading straight into the living room or den or your bedroom. Focus on something other than food–like exercise. Changes clothes, then go take a walk, go to the gym or a yoga class.

Make it easier on yourself. Break bad habits by avoiding the things that cause them in the first place. Develop cues that create good habits instead..