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Creating Cues for Consistency

Creating Cues for Consistency

Creating Cues that help us maintain the track of consistency as we pursue our daily habits or routines to achieve a desired goal.

  • Posted on 28-Oct-2021 , by Nivedita Pawar, Consultant Counsellor

While talking about Consistency you may have heard these quotes, "Practice makes Men Perfect" or "Consistency is Key" but the question is how to create a routine for regular practice or which is the key to the lock of consistency. In this article we will look at creating cues that help us maintain the track of consistency as we pursue our daily habits or routines to achieve a desired goal.

We feel motivated after reading or looking at something on social media. Our brains are charged up with essential but temporary fuel to create unrealistic goals that may look good to others but in reality it can be difficult to achieve if not practiced regularly. Therefore while selecting an achievable goal or a lifestyle, reach out to support groups or your preferred classes/mentors/guides that can help you plan and to keep you on track. This paves a path to sharing your challenges and success with others who might be chasing a similar goal and thus it becomes easier and less scary while you are on the go.

Every routine or habit needs a cue, something that triggers you into taking or doing it in action. The cue is important because your brain will remember and condition itself to repeat the activities that normally follow. Creating cues means to create an environment that prompts you to take conscious or subconscious actions. Your environment should be an obvious place with cues that influences your current behaviors, and if you want to make a change, you need to optimize for your triggers because they begin the cascade toward action. Many people believe change can be cemented in 21 days, but research shows it's not that simple. For some, creating a habit can take 3 months or more. It is difficult to change too many things at once. It takes time to form habits, but it also takes time to replace bad habits with good ones. Conquer one habit, then move on to the next and slowly as days and months pass by you will be amazed to look behind the path you’ve walked upon.

In the book of Atomic Habits by James Clear, you can learn more about how the cue triggers a craving, which motivates a response, which provides a reward, which satisfies the craving and, ultimately, becomes associated with the cue. Together, these four steps form a neurological feedback loop—cue, craving, response, reward; cue, craving, response, reward—that ultimately allows you to create automatic habits. The key to creating good habits and breaking bad ones is to understand these fundamental laws and how to alter them to your needs or requirements.

Remember - Winning in your goal is not the toughest victory, but, winning your patience to achieve that goal is the toughest task i.e. take it as one day at a time.

For eg.: If you want to workout in the morning, set out your workout clothes. If you want to read at night, leave a book on your pillow. Being intentional about the cues you are putting out can help guide your behavior to make the positive change you are hoping for. The important piece to this is that the cue presents itself in the right time and place where you are willing to go on to perform the behavior. Similarly, if sometimes you want to reduce how much you perform a certain behavior, the opposite applies. Make the cue invisible. If you want to go on social media less on your phone, hide the app and turn off notifications. If you want to quit smoking, don’t hangout with smokers.

If every time you accomplish a task your brain gets filled with happy feelings, you’d want to repeat that behavior. Don’t be discouraged that things aren’t happening faster. It doesn’t mean you won’t get there. It takes time for the brain to adapt to a new routine. Remember to reward yourself, however small, rewarding yourself can be very motivating. They remind you of your progress and make things more fun. For short-term goals, rewards should be simple but something that helps you be consistent and for long-term goals, give yourself larger rewards for achieving bigger dreams.