I’ve been reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. It outlines a framework for forming and keeping habits (good and bad), and it starts by understanding the cues that precede so much of our actions.
A cue can be a time, location, preceding event or emotional state. He provides a simple example - how placing a book on your pillow can encourage you to read everytime you come back to bed.
I tried it out, and it works well. I am now reading more regularly every night, and I find myself falling asleep reading my Kindle. While I only get through a few pages before getting drowsy, it beats staying awake staring at my phone watching Netflix or scrolling through the news.
Once you start using cues, I find myself more present and noticing them throughout the day. It’s a small but powerful change in my daily routines.
Other parts of the framework are cravings, responses and rewards. I’m only half way through Atomic Habits, but it’s a great so far and have already recommended it to friends and family.