Charles Duhigg headshot and yellow Power of Habit book cover

Power of Habit: notes from the 2012 bestseller by Charles Duhigg

Habits work in three steps: the cue, the routine and the reward.

To change a habit, swap out the routine β€” because the cue and the reward are apparently already successful. That’s a big theme from Power of Habit, the 2012 bestseller by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charles Duhigg. I’m personally interested in the habit of habits so this book was long on my list to read β€” then a friend encouraged me to read it since it related to a project of ours. And so here I am.

Below I have a few notes for me to return to in the future.

Here are my notes:

  • Keystone habits: what we do regularly that helps set up other habits, behaviors or outcomes (these are often discussed as morning routines, but I also think of reading as a keystone habit, as I enjoy it, am relaxed by it, informs my work and gives me tips for elsewhere in my life)
  • Habit loops: Cue, routine and reward; think of all the habits you want to change in this way
  • Duke University study: 40% of daily decisions are habits
  • Claude Hopkins rules for consumer behavior: make your product a habit
  • Hopkins made Pepsodent a runaway success with a habit loop: from 7% of Americans having toothpaste before Pepsodent to 65% by the Second World War. How?
    • Find a simple and obvious cue; (tooth film!)
    • Second clearly define the rewards (beautiful teeth!)
  • Habits work in 3-step loops: cue, routine, reward.
  • β€œTo change a habit he must keep the old queue, and deliver the old reward, insert a new routine.”
  • You can change your habits by substituting just one part of the loop, the routine.
  • Willpower is the most important habit, and you can strengthen it over time (habit of habits).

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