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How Establishing Good Habits Can Rewire Your Mind To Accomplish More

Source | | Dede Henley

You’ve all seen the clickbait headlines: “8 Habits of Highly Successful Leaders.” “12 Habits of Exceptional Leaders.” “20 Habits of Highly Successful and Effective Leaders.” But the reality is great leaders do have some good habits. Do you?

A couple of years ago, I read the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. In it, he explains the construct of a habit — what he calls a habit loop — which is a framework for understanding how habits work. Duhigg offers that MIT researchers discovered a simple neurological loop at the core of every habit, a loop that consists of three parts: a cue, a routine and a reward. The cue tells your brain to go into automatic mode and lets a behavior unfold. The routine is the behavior itself. And the reward is something that your brain likes that helps it remember the “habit loop” in the future.

“In fact, when you develop a habit, the brain starts working less and less,” says Duhigg. “The brain can almost completely shut down. … And this is a real advantage because it means you have all of this mental activity you can devote to something else.”

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