How I Start the Day… Everyday

Dr. Grace TangDr. Grace Tang is a physician with Rex Family Practice of Wakefield. Her “A day in my life” blog series brings you an inside look at the daily routine of a family physician, both inside and outside of the office.

Have you ever thought about how much of your life is ruled by your habits?

I woke up this morning, went downstairs, barely awake, and:

  • ground the coffee
  • started the coffee maker
  • poured my coffee
  • added sugar and cream
  • drank it

…without even thinking about it. Can’t remember anything about it. Don’t really even remember doing it.

What else do I do on autopilot? What else is just out of sheer habit?

Routine ChartThere’s a book out now called The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg.

The book describes the formation of a habit: there’s a cue—a trigger for a particular behavior; a routine, which is the behavior itself; and a reward, which is how your brain decides whether to remember a habit for the future.

According to this book, to change a habit, like snacking, overeating, procrastinating, or <insert your unhealthy habit here>, you will be more successful if you change the routine, while the cue and reward stay the same.

I think I’ll work on my afternoon snacking habit this week…

  • Guest

    Tim Hortons coffee is very habit forming!  Really interesting article.

  • Guest

    Adore the Tim Horton cup! Thanks for the great article–I am checking out that book too.