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How to break bad habits that hold back your writing potential


Fed up with procrastinating and not getting down to your blogging? Eating chocolate while you work? Checking Twitter so much you never finish your writing? Bad habits can really stop you achieving your writing potential.

Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, thinks he has the cure to bad habits like these – and any other bad habit that’s troubling you.

Duhigg was so annoyed about habitually buying a chocolate cookie in the canteen at work that he set out to find a solution. He realized that by diagnosing your bad habits in forensic details you can crack them.

“First look for the cue, the trigger that makes that habit unfold: often a location, time of day or an emotional state. In my case, the urge for a cookie came every day between 3 and 3.30 while working at my desk,” he explains.

Routine is the next stage in the habit loop. What is it you do every time, that you want to stop doing and what are all the circumstances around it.

Finally, look at your reward as a result of the habit. Duhigg did this by noticing the craving then instead of eating a cookie he did other things for a few days, including walking round the block, buying sweets and eating them at his desk and going to the canteen and talking to friends but not buying a cookie.

He discovered that the reward he was craving “had nothing to do with the cooking, but had to do with socializing.” Now at 3-3.30 he gets up from his desk and chats to people – he stopped eating cookies and lost 12lbs.




November 12, 2014