What Are Habits and How Do We Break Them

Please answer each question under the original numbered questions:

  1. Think about the quote from Edward Thorndike on page 38: “behaviors followed by satisfying consequences tend to be repeated and those that produce unpleasant consequences are less likely to be repeated.” What are some examples of this that are true for you in your life? How have you perhaps been like Thorndike’s cat?
  2. What are some examples of ways in which your habits have created freedom for you? What are some ways in which they have robbed you of it?
  3. Consider the bad habits you have that relate to your SMART goal. Explain how the cue-craving-response-reward formula relates to at least one of them.

Paper details

  1. Which part of the four-step process was the hardest for you to figure out? Why?
  2. Now think of a good habit you’ve tried to adopt but failed to add to your life. Which stage of the process was lacking?
  3. Take a look at the problem and solution phase tables on pp. 43-45. How are you currently (maybe not effectively) dealing with the problem referenced in your SMART goal? Could you plot out how things usually go in a problem and solution table now to better identify the quality or effectiveness of the reward? If your problem is time management, what are you rewarding yourself with instead of a more balanced life? If it’s motivation, what are you rewarding yourself with instead of internal discipline? Show this on a table like the ones on these pages.
  4. Think about your SMART goal. How are you going to develop a good habit that will make the cue obvious, the craving attractive, the response easy, and the reward satisfying? OR, how will you break a bad habit by making the cue invisible, the craving unattractive, the response difficult, and the reward unsatisfying?

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