Our habits determine our successes and failures and they are present in our daily lives.
Since I have been interested in learning about habits, I was happy to find an e-book called “Breaking the Habit Tonight” (aff-link) by Farouk M. Radwan.
This e-book describes the habits from a psychological standpoint: why we do certain things and what triggers our habits.
Because of this interesting e-book, I decided to interview the author about habits.
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself
My name is Farouk and I am full time blogger. I was passionate about psychology then my passion turned into a private business in the form of a website. Nowadays 2knowmyself.com, my website, gets more than 1,000,000 page views each month
2. People talk about forming a habit in 21-30 days. Do you think this is possible in the first place? Do you think you can form new habits within days?
Habits take some time to form and this time differs from one person to another. For one person it might take 21 days for another person it might take a week so I don’t agree to the saying that there is a fixed time for habit formation for everyone
If a person kept doing a certain action everyday then certainly it will become a habit after some time
3. You mentioned triggers in your e-book. Would you tell a bit about those - and why they are important when forming new habits or unlearning old habits?
The way the mind associates 2 unrelated events is called classical conditioning or triggers as you said. One trigger can remind us of the habits we want to get rid of and that’s why its extremely important to make a list of those triggers if you want to break a habit
The best way to break a habit is to avoid those triggers all together.
4. Let’s have a scenario of a trigger:
You go to a restaurant and have lunch with your co-workers. After finishing your lunch, you feel tempted to have a dessert. However it is exactly what you are trying to avoid, since you are trying to lose some weight.
What could potentially be the trigger in this scenario – and how would you avoid falling into the ”dessert” trap?
That’s a good example.
If you failed to avoid encountering the trigger then you should move to your second defense line which is your self discipline. Self discipline is the ability to give up a short term reward for the sake of a bigger long term reward
The more you resist these triggers and refuse to give in to them the more will your self discipline become
5. What is the role of willpower and self-discipline when forming a habit?
In order to break any habit you will have to resist a lot of temptations until the old triggers you formed start losing their effect. In order to do this you certainly need a solid will
6. Why do we keep executing habits which we find harmful to ourselves?
Because the unconscious mind got used to them and they run on the autopilot mode
That’s why the first step to breaking any habit is bringing it to the surface or in other words, to your conscious part of your brain
7. How do you resist temptations? Is there any other way than just using willpower?
Yes, you can find out a good habit that helps you fulfill the same need your bad habit helps you to fulfill. If you are an internet addict because you don’t find anything to do then developing a new hobby can be a very good defense against this bad habit
8. Why do sometimes bad habits come back – even after years of living without them?
If people gave in to these temptations which can be caused by random triggers that didn’t weaken yet then the bad habit will return
If after few years you felt like doing the habit again then know that this is one of the triggers that didn’t weaken yet
Ignore it, it will weaken like others did and you will not return to the habit
So, check out the interview and let me know what you think! Also, if you have any questions related to habits, leave a comment as well!