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Secrets to kick-start a good habit according to Science

Thu, 09/15/2016 - 00:59

Og Mandino, the world renowned author of ‘The Greatest Salesman in the World’ once wrote: “The only difference between those who have failed and those who have succeeded lies in the difference of their habits. Good habits are the key to all success. Bad habits are the unlocked door to failure.”

Indeed all of us are creatures of habits. The only question is: are they making you a winner or driving you to misery? To start, it is important to understand how habits form. And for this, it is best to rely on Science. According to experts who studied this subject, “Neuroscientists have traced our habit-making behaviors to a part of the brain called the basal ganglia, which also plays a key role in the development of emotions, memories and pattern recognition. Decisions, meanwhile, are made in a different part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. But as soon as a behavior becomes automatic, the decision-making part of your brain goes into a sleep mode of sorts.”

In an interview with to Charles Duhigg, New York Times writer and author of ‘The Power of Habit’, he further explained that forming a habit is a three-part process. First, there’s the trigger. Then there’s the routine, which is the behavior itself. Then lastly, the reward. Taken altogether, this psychological pattern is called a ‘habit loop’.

The simple secret

Simply put, everything starts with a decision. Once a decision to start a good habit is made, everything else just falls into place. The same goes for stopping a bad habit. The crucial thing here is to realise whether a particular habit is good or bad. For example, many drivers have the habit of driving through amber lights. While you may not actually be violating a traffic law by doing this, the safe thing to do, of course, is to stop. Driving through amber lights is therefore a bad habit that needs a firm decision from you to stop doing from now on.

Another example is the habit of car owners automatically renewing their car insurance with the same provider. It’s like putting a car insurance renewal on auto-pilot. While this offers some convenience, this habit actually removes the possibility of getting a better rate and service from another insurer. Obviously, this is a bad habit that must be stopped. A good habit is to check if an insurer offers customisable policies (so you don’t have to pay for what you don’t need) and personalised claims support (so you can get your money’s worth and faster claims without wasting time). There’s nothing worse than being stuck with an inflexible car insurance policy that doesn’t work for your needs and paying too much for it so you need to be wise in your decisions. Simple rule: Don’t get stuck.

Good habits of highly successful car owners

Here are some good habits to start cultivating now.

  1. Always demand quality. Continental cars are known for their good quality and it is no surprise that there is a spike in the sales volume of Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and the likes in Singapore. Whether it’s in your choice of vehicle or even simple things like car accessories, always demand quality.
  2. Be safe. Always. Road safety should be your priority at all times. There is no point in being fast if you are risking your personal safety.
  3. Stay Organized. Keep a record of your car maintenance schedule, insurance renewal, expense items, etc. Being organized helps you plan better.
  4. Keep your cool. It will not be easy. But it will be worth it.
  5. Decide. Then execute.

Do you have anything else to add? Sound off in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you.

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