This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.
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Are you looking for The Power of Habit discussion questions? What can you do to break your bad habits?
These The Power of Habit discussion questions can help you think about major themes in the book, and think about your own habits and habit loops. The questions and exercises can also help you plan for the future and form better habits.
Keep reading for The Power of Habit discussion questions.
The Power of Habit Discussion Questions
Use these The Power of Habit discussion questions to help you learn more about why you form habits.
Exercise: Identify Your Habit
Apply what you learned to figuring out a habit you don’t like.
What is a bad habit that you want to stop? How often do you do it?
A cue is a trigger that kicks off the habit. What’s your cue for your bad habit?
The cue kicks off a craving, which is anticipation of the reward. What does the craving feel like? What reward do you want?
To get your reward, you act out a routine. What’s the routine you take to get your reward? Write out every specific step from beginning to finish, even steps you don’t think are important.
Exercise: Rewire Your Habit
Now that you understand your habit loop well, try to rewire it.
To review, write down your cue, routine, and reward for a habit you want to change.
Is it possible that the reward you want isn’t what your routine is getting you? (For instance, if you have a craving for food, you might not actually want the food, but rather emotional comfort.) What other rewards might you be seeking in your current habit
To change a habit, keep the same cue and the same reward, but change the routine. What new routine can you replace, to get the same underlying reward?
Exercise: Getting Past Your Pain Point
To build willpower, fill in specific plans about how to deal with pain points you expect.
What is a habit you feel you lack willpower for?
What is the major pain point you can predict? Picture yourself executing the habit – at what point are you most likely to stop and give up?
What is a specific routine you can use to get through this pain point? (For example, for running, you might force yourself to put on your shoes, tie the laces, and take 20 steps.)
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- The 3 steps to change your habits
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- How social movements are just an expansion of habits from individuals to communities