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The power of habits shapes our lives, so how do you change bad habits to good ones? Learn the best lifehacks in this video (which is also BREAKING BAD spoof)!

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Created by:
Emma Mills & T. Michael (Mike) Martin
Mike is also a Young Adult novelist. His book, THE END GAMES, is available at all online booksellers, including
Indiebound ( ) and Amazon: (

Written by:
Thomas Frank & T. Michael Martin
(Be sure to check out Thomas's website,, as well as his awesome YouTube channel,

Hosted, Directed, and Edited by:
T. Michael Martin

Executive Producers:
Hank & John Green
(How to Adult/Breaking Bad intro)

Mike: Hey.  To quote William James, the father of modern psychology, "All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits."  And that is a positive news story for us, because without habits, every little thing we did would require a conscious decision.  Can I leave the house from the door or the window?  Should I open the door with my hand or my butt?  So if you are like everybody on the planet, you probably have some bad habits you would like to get rid of, and you probably have some good habits that you'd like to start doing, so today we've got three tips for breaking bad habits and making awesome ones.

Tip #1: Replace a bad habit with a good one.  So let's say you're kind of out of shape, and you want to become the one who jocks or maybe you watch too much reality TV--

Real Catpunchers of Indiana. 

--and you would like to learn guitar and become--

So the core components of a habit are called the habit loop.  Essentially, a habit can be broken down into three distinct parts.  Number one, the cue, what initially triggers the habit.  Number two, the routine, the actual actions you take.  Number three, the reward, whatever it is that the routine culminates in.  So now that you have a general idea on how habits work, let's talk about how to replace a bad activity with a good activity, and just to be clear, we're painting very broad stroke-y here. 

Step one: identify the routine.  In other words, figure out exactly what it is that you actually do.  Number two, figure out what the reward is, and be careful, because it might not be what you think. 

So why don't you put your clothes away? 

What I do, I do for my family.

In his book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg talks about how he used to always buy a cookie during the afternoon.  He assumed, naturally, that the cookie was the reward, like, the sugar rush was the reward.  But what he realized over time was that the real reward was just his brain wanting to get a break from work and wanting to socialize a little bit.

Number three, figure out what the cue is.  What is it that triggers your habit?  Is it a certain time of day, is it a song, is it a mood, is it the weather, is it not getting enough sleep? 

Number four, create a plan for what you'll do when the cue strikes.  What is the replacement routine that you can follow to get the same reward? 

This is not mess. 


For instance, one helpful How to Adult viewer said that they used to smoke as their form of stress relief, and now they've taken up exercise instead.

Tip #2: Smart small.  As we've said before, you cannot do all the things at once.  It's just gonna work never, so stop it.  Several of our viewers suggested this, which can also be known as a success spiral.  As you see yourself succeed, you reinforce the positive behavior and you train yourself to be able to do more in the future, but if you try to do a million things at once, you will sabotage yourself and you will not get to build these success spirals.

Tip #3: Use a tool to track your progress.  Several of our awesome viewers told us that they have been able to build successful habits by using a Charlie McDonnell Don't Break the Chain approach.  Basically, as you go more and more days with good behavior, you're training yourself to keep going, and you're keeping motivated as you see your progress.  And that leads to another awesome suggestion from our viewers, which is to use a habit tracking app.  The most popular suggestion was HabitRPG, and you can look at stuff in the dooblydoo.

So that is all we've got for you today.  If you guys have any habit tips, please let us know in the comment section below, we would love to hear from you.  In the meantime, new habit, here is Emma to actually finally tell you catchphrase!

Emma: Awesome catchphrase.

Mike: No.  I am the one who talks.  Like Batman.  So many bad puns, see you guys next week, I love you, bye, mwah.


(Mike plays guitar)