Manchester-based, direct marketing and sales specialists, Blue Moose is urging individuals to break their bad habits by using their easy to follow three-stage cycle.
Blue Moose, a direct marketing agency with a flair for unique and personalised company training methods, has been investigating how habits are formed and how they can provide information on breaking bad habits to their workforce.
According to research conducted by University College, London, habits – both good and bad, take 66 days on average to break. To allow their professionals to decipher where their bad habits come from, Blue Moose have been providing guidance on how habits manifest in the first place.
The firm has discovered a three-step habit loop often used to explain the most common habits. Blue Moose has been explaining to their workforce how the habit loop often begins with a trigger which initiates an undesired behaviour. This could be something as simple as feeling stressed or sad which causes a person to reach for a glass of wine, or the family sized chocolate bar in the fridge. The trigger event is whatever puts this idea in a person’s head.
Then comes the second step, the behaviour itself. This is when the brain says, to a person that they deserve that chocolate! So they dig in. The third and most crucial step is the reward. The original behaviour has to reward the person in some way, which does not necessarily mean it is good for them. Instead, it is simply something their brain responds well to. For example, when binging on junk food, the reward is obvious – it tastes fantastic. For better or worse, these rewards increase the likelihood that the behaviour will be repeated. Once a person repeats a behaviour enough times, the habit loop will become so automated that they won’t even think about it anymore.
To break these habit loops, Blue Moose has created a three stage guide for professionals looking to eradicate bad habits within the recommended 66 day period:
Days 1-10: Look Inward
After identifying the bad habit, the challenge lies in understanding what triggers it. Looking inward to explore the source of the habit makes breaking it, possible. The first ten days of trying to break a habit should provide enough insight into the source, should the person choose to look hard enough.
Days 11-40: Spread the Word
At this stage, it is important to create a vocal accountability network, by telling people about the habit which needs to be broken. The more vocal the person is about it, the more likely others are to point out if they are slipping up.
By this point, the person in question will be heading for the home stretch but should be prepared to make some common mistakes. For example, if the habit takes place when in certain situations, try to avoid those triggers until the bad habit has been well and truly extinguished.
Blue Moose hopes that these pointers will help any staff members hoping to destroy any bad habits standing in the way of both their personal and professional development.