The three-step technique of adjusting a behavior

January 11, 2021 8 min read

This article has been translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors can occur due to this process.

The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur’s contributors are their own.

  • In order to modify them, it is necessary to work internally on the beliefs and paradigms that normally limit people in order to achieve what they crave and what they desire.

How true is it that habits are changed by practicing them for 21 days in a row?

To answer, let’s go back to 1960 when plastic surgeon Maxwell Maltz set a duration of 21 days to create a habit. More recently, neuroscience has confirmed that this is not always the case, and that neurons could respond longer; mainly influenced by the tendency of the majority to give up or postpone training of habits before 21 days.

It can be said that the time is variable. However, if you manage to keep it up for three weeks or more, you will be closer to incorporating it as a new routine and therefore will have an experience of what it would look like if you continued.

The results that any person wants to achieve include changes and transformations in their habitual behavior. Often a wish, wish, or goal is expressed orally, which does not mean that the necessary steps to do so will follow. To do this, it is necessary to change habits for those who will bring you closer to the result and not drive you away.

In his book “The Power of Habits”, author Charles Duhigg shares his vision of the dynamics that can be pursued to achieve the appropriate proactivity.


The three basic moments are:

  1. Trigger or trigger: Something happens and the brain interprets this signal in such a way that it is automatically due to a cognitive distortion (a “pre-armed route” and previously tested) or what reaction to give.

  2. Routine: It is a physical, emotional, and mental act that is automatically triggered by this trigger.

  3. Reward: When a positive stimulus occurs and indicates to the brain that the routine being performed is working, it must be saved for future use or replicated as often as needed.

A way of changing habits

Every aspect of life that you want to manage more proactively requires a change in habits. For example, taking on more responsibility at work, following a diet, learning something new, starting an exercise program, or reading more.

In order to modify them, it is necessary to work internally on the beliefs and paradigms that normally limit people in order to achieve what they crave and what they desire. Overcome the sluggishness of automatic response and direct effort, attention, and focus on the new, leading to a new life experience closer to the outcome.

There are many ways to achieve this that are not based solely on will, as people tend to lose weight if they don’t see the result fairly quickly. One of the keys, however, is persistence combined with the inner strength to persevere again and again. and the price that will be received in the end.

Based on the previous ideas, a practical way to initiate a change in habits is:

1) Create a new trigger

By identifying the new habit that you wish to incorporate, you can work internally to identify the exact moment when the tendency to fall into the old pattern occurs and right there redirecting conscious thinking, physical and mental energy to to propel it towards the goal that you already have in mind.

It is important that your goal is believable, achievable, measurable, and specific, and that it inspires you enough to accompany the self-motivation you need to keep it up over time. Write it down and visualize it with complete clarity: having the idea in your head is not the same as putting it on paper, seeing it and measuring it daily.

Habits are built on repetition. And the new proactive and positive behavior too; So you have to keep reproducing this new nerve pathway in your brain to find the appropriate way to reach it.

Remember that energy follows thinking. Therefore, it is important that your subconscious mind is aligned with this mind of creating the new habit so that it indicates to your conscious mind (the one in charge of the thoughts and giving the order of execution to actions) that there is something new that is You can integrate them into your life, and you can only achieve this by connecting it subconsciously through positive emotions and feelings. For example, imagine how you will feel when you are already achieving what you want to achieve.

2) Link it to a positive routine

When the emotions that accompany the routine of the new habit are optimistic and push you forward, the mind feels comforted knowing that it is doing a good job: there is the inner satisfaction, sense of achievement, and energy that is needed You do it over and over until you incorporate it into your daily life.

To combine the new habit with a positive routine, it is important to focus on small actions that will add to your success.

Many people are very good at defining “what they don’t want”, although the appropriate approach here is being able to express and feel “what you want”.

Image: Jordan Beal / EyeEm | Getty Images

This connection is emotional and deep; It takes discipline to map the small steps you will take until you confirm the new behavior in your head and how you will specifically express it on a daily basis. that is, take it into action.

There are people who do not achieve the result of a diet, for example, because they only create it on the conscious level of the mind (thoughts, ideas) and do not keep it in the subconscious (which feeds this experience with the nutrition associated emotions).

At this point, when you create the steps that will lead you to concretise the new habit, you need to relate them to feelings of expansion that will energize and drive you permanently. The step can be progressive, although you can be sure that the result will be achieved if you continue.

3) Create a mental or physical reward associated with maintaining this habit

The third point to changing a habit is crucial: you need to create a reward in order to activate the center in your brain. This area contains neurons that deliver impulses to numerous regions of the brain and play a fundamental role in motivation, desire, pleasure, and affective evaluation.

Like all people, we do things because we feel we get some benefit from them. The reward of the habit, in this case, needs to be challenging and tangible enough to arouse you while stimulating your mind to do it all the time.

A reward is an internal or external reward that you give yourself. It can simply be words of encouragement, keeping a notebook of your progress on the habit, discussing your performance with someone you love, cooking something tasty that you haven’t eaten in a long time, or doing something nice for yourself.

Use your creative mind to reward yourself: the important thing is that the moment you do this, you connect it mentally and directly to the habit you are building in, as this creates the internal connection that the allows additional energy associated with the stimulus – trigger that awakens this new experience.

That way, you can begin to change harmful habits that you no longer need to maintain in your life and involve others who will lead straight to the result you want.

Comments are closed.