3 Takeaways from The Power of Habit

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg 3 Takeaways | Free Habit Tracker Printable by Drawn to DIY

Hello and welcome to Drawn to DIY!

Since today is the first Monday of the month, this post is part of the blog's mini series called 3 Takeaways where I share three insights from an inspiring book, leader, or podcast.

The Power of Habit is a best selling book written by Pulitzer prize winner Charles Duhigg. If you're curious as to why habits exist, what triggers these routines, and how we can develop new habits or reshape bad ones, this book is for you. Here are my three takeaways:

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1. Repetition and Automation

If you pause and examine all your actions in a day, you'll find that remarkably most of what you do are results of months or years of repetition. As humans, we don't think about these trivial habits anymore because we've done them so many times. 

Remember the first time you tied your shoelaces? Rode a bike? Drove your car out of the driveway? At first, it might have taken a few minutes (or a few days for some) but now, you don't even think about it. That's because they've become automated or habitual

So does this mean we're doomed to repeat the same actions forever? How can we reinforce the good habits and reshape the bad ones? Read on. 


2. The Habit Loop

Duhigg says habits consist of three components: the cue, the routine, and the reward.

The cue can be anything from your emotional state to the time of day—basically anything that triggers your habit. The routine is the habit itself, whether it's beneficial like regular exercise or detrimental like smoking. The reward is whatever convinces your mind to remember the previous components as part of a habit worth keeping.

In order to change a habit, you'll need to recognize the old cue and keep the reward, but insert a new routine.   


3. Freedom and Responsibility

It's worth noting that the author's findings stated in the book are to be used as a framework, and not as a one-step solution. Since each person has their own cues, routines, and rewards, you'll have to experiment and find out what works for you. He adds, "Once you understand that habits can change, you have the freedom — and the responsibility — to remake them."  

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This book is actually appropriate now that we're nearing the Olympic games in Rio. Think about it, these top athletes train and work hard every single day for so many years. They don't hope to win the gold medal through a one-day practice session. Instead, they have developed disciplined and well-defined habits that will enable them to perform their best during this competition.

If we are ever to attempt excellence like them, whether in sports, business, blogging, or even brush lettering, we should identify then develop the habits we wish to keep and which we should work on replacing.

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Taking Action

In the past month, I found it helpful to keep track of my progress on a daily or weekly basis so I made this Habit Tracker printable both you and I could use. As an example, I've listed three simple habits I'd like to develop: hydrate more, cut down on sweets, and listen to more podcasts/audiobooks. So far, you can see which I need to work on more but hopefully I can do better in the following weeks!

For even more motivation, I used brush lettering to include this powerful quote by Aristotle:

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit. 

Want to put these takeaways into action?

Click here to download a free habit tracker.

Grab your copy of The Power of Habit over at Amazon* now:

*This is an Amazon affiliate link wherein I may earn a percentage commission if you purchase. Please note that going through this link will NOT affect your purchase price.