Understanding Your Habits
So the lesson here, right is that this is this really is the level at which we have to begin to do things right. Behavior change actually requires a lot of work. One of the things that I want you to bear in mind another piece to this puzzle that we're gonna come back to in the next unit in more detail. But I want to give a little shout out to it is is the concept of willpower. Okay? It turns out that we often influence our our ability to change our habits in a negative way immediately. Just because we create situations in which habit change is going to require will power. Now, willpower involves a bunch of brain mechanisms, most of which are located in those frontal lobes. But the thing we need to remember right now is that at the moment that you place yourself in the arms of willpower, Aziz, your saving grace for behavior change, you have failed. Okay? And so one of the things that you need to do is to remember that you want to create new habits you don't want. You don't want to spend...
a lot of your time just stopping yourself from the old habits that you've created were beginning to identify the problem. The problem of behavior change, the problem of behavior changes. This I have these habits they've been created over time because I have consistent mapping is that I've repeated their deeply, now ingrained in my memory, associating environments with behaviours in ways that I'm not even aware of anymore because I perform them automatically. And now I want to stop doing that thing. So I have all of these habits in memory. And unfortunately, not only can't I do the the Matrix thing of learning kung fu, I can't do the inverse matrix thing either. I can't stick an electrode in and suck out the memory of the behavior, much as I might like to. There's no way of erasing what I have in memory. In fact, forever. A lot of that stuff is in there, So what I'm trying to do instead is to override it, to take all of those situations in which I used to engage in a particular behavior and now do something else in those environments. I am reprogramming the system to associate the that environment that context, those feelings with a different action. You don't change a habit that is You don't stop a habit. You can't replace something with nothing. You always replace something with something else. So that's gonna be one very critical part of changing behavior. And then the other thing that we're gonna want to dio is is we're gonna, in addition, Teoh creating a positive statement about our behavior is that we want to make sure that the that the new behavior we create is focused on a sustainable process for living our lives. Remember that we're not erasing our old habits, okay, We're overriding them, which means you don't replace something with nothing. You replace something with something else. So that's Ah, that's an important part of this. We talked about the development of habits. So habits right are created by a system that is looking for consistent mapping is in our environment that we repeat. That system is always looking for those repeated map behaviors in the in a consistent environment. And when you get those when it is faster to retrieve the memory of what to do in a situation than it is to think about the behaviour than you have a habit, Okay? We love these consistent map ings. We crave them in our environment and when and when they get disrupted, we feel uncomfortable because we can't do what we normally do automatically. And remember that habits aren't really broken. Right? That is We don't just stop doing something. What we do is replaced habits with something else. You don't replace something with nothing. You replace something with something else.
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Full-length class: The Power of Habits with Art Markman
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ABOUT ART'S CLASS:
Setting a goal is one thing, but actually doing the work to achieve that goal is a totally different endeavor. If you want to hit your targets and make lasting changes in your life, join author and psychologist Art Markman, Ph.D., to learn what it takes to build and maintain healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
This course won’t serve up superficial self-help tips; instead, you’ll dive into the latest cognitive science behind behavior change. You’ll learn how to build new, positive habits and break the cycle of existing negative ones. You’ll explore what it takes to sustain healthy habits over time and increase your chances of maintaining new habits by empowering your friends and family to make positive changes, too.
Don’t waste another day simply wishing you could make a change that really sticks — equip yourself with the techniques you need to transform your life in measurable, powerful, and positive ways.