Now that we’ve learned how to make our “bad habits” invisible; let's examine the 2nd Law of Behavior Change from James Clear’s Atomic Habitsmake it attractive. 

For the behaviors we want to build into habits, we need to want to do them - we need to create the circumstances that are more likely for us to partake in that particular behavior.  Clear dives into the neuroscience of habit-formation, stating, “habits are a dopamine-driven feedback loop.”  Every behavior that is highly habit-forming is associated with higher levels of dopamine.  And the crazy part is dopamine is released during not only the fulfillment of the reward, but also the anticipation of it.  

Think about Christmas as a child.  Or a vacation planned for later this year.  The anticipation of those events can sometimes be more enjoyable than the actual event.  The anticipation releases the dopamine, which increases our motivation to act.  And that’s the key - action.  

We need to make the habit we want to form tempting - attractive.  Clear outlines a process called temptation bundling, where we put a habit that we need (the one we want to build) in front of a habit that we want (the one we already have).  

Let’s say you are wanting to exercise more often, but get stuck scrolling through social media apps.  Temptation bundling would have you do a quick exercise (10 push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, etc.) before you check social media.  You can even add the habit stacking idea to this:

– After I pull out my phone, I will do 10 jumping jacks

– After my jumping jacks, I will check Instagram

When we create a heightened version of any habit by connecting it with something we already want, then we intensify the anticipation, releasing more dopamine, giving us more desire to act, and finally, a greater likelihood of building the habit we want.  

Science is fun!  And so is attaining the habit we want to create.  You’ve got the outline, now it’s time to put it into action.  And your DREAM4 Coach can help you on the journey.  Let’s move forward. 

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