How to build a habit

We've all seen the lurid headlines, 

"How to quit smoking in 5 days", 

or "How to get a six pack in 21 days"

All this is nonsense! Let's quickly get away from these lurid headlines and face the facts.

With various experiments, it has been found that the average time to develop a habit is 66 days. In fact, depending on the type and extent of the habit, it can range from 18 to 254 days individually.

Scientists agree that developing a new habit (or breaking an old one) is a very personal matter. Accordingly, it is difficult to set a universal timetable or strategy. 

So we need to understand that there is neither a quick fix nor a universal formula. In most cases, we all have to figure out for ourselves which methods work best for us.

If we understand this from the very beginning, it is much easier as we go along to manage our own expectations and engage in small, incremental changes - rather than pressuring ourselves.

The Habit Loop

NOUMEN - Selfcare Journal Habit Loop und Gewohnheitsschleife für Männer

Researchers have found that habit formation is a three-step process in the brain. In his book, The Power of Habits, Charles Duhigg describes the concept of the habit loop ("The Habit Loop"). The habit loop is a three-part cycle that, given enough time and repetition, illustrates how your brain puts a particular behavior on autopilot and allows it to become a habit.

All habits can be broken down into three basic components. Let's look at these three components with an example. For example, let's say you want to start taking NOUMEN supplements regularly from now on and develop a habit out of it.

1. The Cue

The first component includes everything that triggers your habit. This could be times, places, people or certain emotional states.

▶️ So you need a trigger, something that reminds you to take your supplements every day. How about setting a second alarm clock in the morning? Or a post-it on the bathroom cabinet with a little note?

2. The Routine

This is the part of the habit loop where you turn the habit into an action. It happens immediately after the trigger.

▶️ In our example, this would be taking the supplement in response to the chosen trigger.

3. The Reward

This is the part of the habit loop where your brain receives a reward for performing the desired action. Such a reward can be both tangible and intangible.

▶️ When taking the supplements, it is more of an intangible reward. The reward is not noticeable after 2-3 days, but requires consistency and patience to see long-term success. So here it would make sense to build an emotional connection and think of the long-term goal you are working towards.

Overall, understanding this habit loop can help us develop better habits. The morning routine is the strongest for many of us, so this is a good time to introduce a new habit.

Need a few extra tips? There you go:

1. Start simple 😌 - Don't try to completely change your life in one day. It's easy to get over-motivated and take on too much. Set a long-term goal that you can work towards with small steps that you keep building.

2. Stay consistent 🔁 - If your habit is consistent, it will be easier to stick with it. When you want to start incorporating a skincare routine, try to always do it at the same time, in the same place, and in the same sequence. If clues like time of day, location and circumstances are always the same, you'll find it easier to stick with it.

3. Grab a Buddy 💪 - Maybe you have someone in your community who has the same goal. Motivate each other, together you are twice as strong.

4. Don't be perfect 👾 - Don't demand or expect all your attempts to change habits to be immediately successful. The key is that mistakes can be made. The most important thing is to get back up and keep going.

5. Know the benefits 🎯 - Always keep the goal for the new habit in mind. Familiarize yourself with the benefits of the change and remind yourself why you want to make the change.