The Power of Habits

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Let’s chat about the “power of habits” for a few minutes.

In his book, The Power of Habit, Author Charles Duhigg explains a habit as being a cycle of “CUE-ROUTINE-REWARD.”


 For instance, we go exercise as a “routine” because it gives us a “feel good” reward. For years, advertisers have used this principle to sell you products.

Here’s an example. The original toothpaste in the 1950’s was a bleak, tasteless paste that helped remove tartar. So Pepsodent decided to make toothpaste more appealing by focusing on “whiteness” and adding a fresh tasting “flavor” making your breath clean.


This changed the CUE-ROUTINE-REWARD cycle into an exciting event where your mouth tingled after brushing. And since this time, the advertising world has gone crazy helping you create a new buying habit.

Think for a moment about a bad habit that challenges your progress today. What is the “cue” that triggers the habit routine and delivers the reward?

The Point

For the bad habits that you want to end---simply “move the cue” out of your reach.

“Moving the cue” may mean severing relationships, changing your phone number, even moving if necessary.

Think about what you can do to eliminate the CUE out of your reach. Remove the CUE and you stopped the ROUTINE and REWARD and the habit no longer exists.

Have a great day.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gary Dansie, MEd / MBA, is the founder and Executive Director of TLCpo/RecoveryTLC. He was a pioneer in the development of web software during the 1990s and in 2010 created one of the first in-home addiction treatment programs using video conference that was accredited by The Joint Commission.

Gary Dansie