We all want to lose bad habits and develop good ones and we all know how difficult that can be at times. I’ve been in the process of attempting to reinstate my meditation practice and I’ve been struggling to understand why this has been so hard. Recently I read an article that helped me realize that my struggle is not that I am unwilling to meditate. My struggle is more that I want half-hour meditations, an all or nothing attitude, unwilling to settle for anything but.
The article was written by Darius Foroux, a blogger and speaker who focuses on living a more productive life. His take is pretty simple. He advises, amongst other things, to only focus on one habit at a time and to set the bar low. This is where I was failing in my meditation re-boot. Starting out with five minutes a day instead of 30 will hopefully work better for me.
Taking this a little further and doing some research I found what is referred to as The Habit Loop. The loop is made up of 3 items, a Cue, followed by a Routine, and finally a Reward. Most interesting to me about this loop is that the Cue sends our brains into Routine, which is actually auto-processing. And, apparently our brains like to go into auto-processing as this allows them to focus on more important things, like watching for tigers or looking for love. Seems that habits may have some basis in evolution.
So, you may be wondering, how this fits into a blog about marketing? I think this means we have to diligently be aware of Cues and Routines. Even when the timelines are tight, and they always are, we have to be on the lookout for any auto-processing that might be happening. Does the same problem launch the same solution or response? There are potential missed opportunities in not pushing limits or trying new tactics, strategies, creative, or messaging. Even if we can’t implement a new direction, the thinking and creative process this involves forms habits that make us all better at what we do.