06 Feb Identify Your Daily Rewards To Establish Positive Habits For 2020
As we start back for the full first week of 2020, it’s a return to routine and our comfort zone of daily habits to boost us during our working day. Whether it is buying a latte on the way to the office, or justifying the extra five minutes on social media after finishing that meeting, there are many little rewards which define our daily habits – positive and negative.
As human beings we respond to rewards whether they are obvious and visible or unconscious and therefore a lot more subtle. Our habit loops are developed through repetition, triggered by specific cues such as the time of day or location.
So, the reward of our daily latte is the caffeine hit to boost our energy in the morning, and the cue is passing our coffee shop of choice on our commute. Is that daily treat a positive habit to continue in 2020?
Once we can identify the reward and its cue, we can form an alternative healthier and more positive daily habit. In the case of our commute caffeine boost, we can change our route to work, take some fruit juice, or treat ourselves to one of the healthy protein snacks which give us a sense of wellbeing.
Our rewards may be harder to identify in more subtle daily habits in the workplace. Taking on the responsibility to make sure a job is completed by ourselves rather than trusting in delegating tasks is one major habit shared by many of us. It may seem like a good plan to ensure a project is completed to our personal standard, but taking on too much responsibility and stress can lead to burnout. The opportunity comes in seeing that a new reward lies in supporting others to develop.
Breaking old habits and establishing new positive routines can be difficult because the brain’s neural pathways take the route of least resistance. Our director Heather Wright explains about our taxi driver leading us the same route to the same cues and same rewards. It takes conscious effort starting with our thoughts and building those new dendrites to change a behavioural pattern and form a positive new habit!
As we start our routines back at work in this New Year and decade, this is an excellent time to think about our routines to embed lasting habit changes:
- Take note of your daily routines and patterns in your behaviour, and decide whether they are positive or negative.
- Look for the reward that forms your daily habits. Can you change the reward to be more mentally and/or physically healthy?
- Spot the cue that prompts the routine – it is usually within context of time and location.
- Establish a new reward that benefits your wellbeing and enables you to be more effective and satisfied with your performance at work.
Remember that creating new habits is challenging to begin with as we are literally forming new dendrites in the brain! But a little conscious effort each day to manage our routine enables us to establish small but significant habit changes which in turn, can have a transformational impact in 2020.