The Power of Habit

by

Charles Duhigg

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The Golden Rule of habit change Term Analysis

The Golden Rule of habit change is to replace the old routine with a new one, while connecting it with the same cue and reward. For instance, Alcoholics Anonymous teaches people to identify the feelings that cue them to drink, then respond to them with a new routine instead—like going to a meeting or talking to a sponsor.

The Golden Rule of habit change Quotes in The Power of Habit

The The Power of Habit quotes below are all either spoken by The Golden Rule of habit change or refer to The Golden Rule of habit change. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Habits, Human Behavior, and Success Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of The Power of Habit published in 2014.
Chapter 3 Quotes

His coaching strategy embodied an axiom, a Golden Rule of habit change that study after study has shown is among the most powerful tools for creating change. Dungy recognized that you can never truly extinguish bad habits.
Rather, to change a habit, you must keep the old cue, and deliver the old reward, but insert a new routine.
That’s the rule: If you use the same cue, and provide the same reward, you can shift the routine and change the habit. Almost any behavior can be transformed if the cue and reward stay the same.

Related Characters: Charles Duhigg (speaker), Tony Dungy
Page Number: 62
Explanation and Analysis:

Notice how closely this study hews to the Golden Rule of habit change: Even when alcoholics’ brains were changed through surgery, it wasn’t enough. The old cues and cravings for rewards were still there, waiting to pounce. The alcoholics only permanently changed once they learned new routines that drew on the old triggers and provided a familiar relief.

Related Characters: Charles Duhigg (speaker)
Related Symbols: Brain Scans and Studies
Page Number: 73
Explanation and Analysis:

Often, we don’t really understand the cravings driving our behaviors until we look for them.

Related Characters: Charles Duhigg (speaker)
Page Number: 77
Explanation and Analysis:

How do habits change?
There is, unfortunately, no specific set of steps guaranteed to work for every person. We know that a habit cannot be eradicated—it must, instead, be replaced. And we know that habits are most malleable when the Golden Rule of habit change is applied: If we keep the same cue and the same reward, a new routine can be inserted.
But that’s not enough. For a habit to stay changed, people must believe change is possible. And most often, that belief only emerges with the help of a group.

Related Characters: Charles Duhigg (speaker)
Page Number: 92
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Golden Rule of habit change Term Timeline in The Power of Habit

The timeline below shows where the term The Golden Rule of habit change appears in The Power of Habit. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3: The Golden Rule of Habit Change: Why Transformation Occurs
Habits, Human Behavior, and Success Theme Icon
Habit Change and Personal Growth  Theme Icon
Social Habits and Cultural Influence Theme Icon
...have to change their habits in order to win. Specifically, he believes in the “ Golden Rule of habit change,” which advocates for keeping the cue and reward the same while changing... (full context)
Habits, Human Behavior, and Success Theme Icon
Habit Change and Personal Growth  Theme Icon
...research. Academics long criticized it, but now some believe that it succeeds by using the Golden Rule of habit change. It teaches people to understand the cues and rewards that drive them... (full context)
Habit Change and Personal Growth  Theme Icon
...changing habits, Duhigg concludes, this chapter has illustrated two key principles. The first is the Golden Rule : use the same cue and reward but change the routine. The second is that... (full context)