habit formation and goal setting
recovery, discipline, and the way to mastery
Our habits are powerful. But an addict in recovery hardly needs convincing of that. Our habits shaped our experience for years; an unrelenting force that caused considerable damage in our lives.
As you undoubtedly know by now, practice is the core of the Integral Recovery model. But beginning and sustaining the four-fold practice can be a difficult transition unless we engage the very force that once held us back: our habits.
The cultivation of positive habits takes a lot of work, at least in the beginning. Getting ourselves to wake up early, to take a break from our over-packed schedules for meditation, or to voluntarily engage in the sweat-drenched exertion of intense physical exercise takes a great deal of willpower. It’s easier to hit the snooze button, stay on the sofa, and scroll through our phones, where the immediate effort required is low, and the rewards are (seemingly) high.
Fortunately, the science of habit formation has made tremendous strides in the past several years, and we can use this research to help us on our journey as we build our Integral cross-training practice. With a little bit of grit, we can use our limited supply of willpower to form new habits.
The simple formula that governs our habits, as outlined by Charles Duhigg in his excellent book, The Power of Habit, is:
This process, even if we didn’t always know it by name, will be intimately familiar to the addict. Our cues or triggers, whether events, times of day, people, sights, sounds, or feelings, exerted a powerful pull that drove us toward our behavior. Why? Because we knew that engaging that behavior would trigger a reward – the rush of neurochemicals offering stimulation or relief, relaxation, or whatever state experience we craved.
Using this knowledge in recovery, we can craft a different series of cues, routines, and rewards that enable us to build a robust Integral cross-training practice that develops our bodies, minds, emotions, and spirits.
And once these habits are successfully installed, they become nearly automatic. And over the years, though we hardly recognize the day-today changes within ourselves, we continue to make progress, eventually reaching new heights and levels of performance, health, and self-mastery that we had previously believed were impossible.
Designing an Integral practice can feel formidable, but we don’t have to do it alone. By studying the work of those who’ve come before, we stand on the shoulders of giants who can inspire us and help us avoid the pitfalls that would derail us from our path.
But the masters aren’t our only guides. We learn just as much from one another as the Integral Recovery community boldly blazes this new trail. Moving forward together, with accountability, encouragement, and support, we can use our past struggles as a profound opportunity for growth and transformation.
In today’s episode of the Journey of Integral Recovery, the team shares their own strategies for habit formation, as well as a few unique and unexpected twists including gamification and classical conditioning to motivate behavior change and have fun in the process. Perhaps most importantly of all, we discuss learning to allow some flexibility, grace, and intuitive guidance into the process as we continue our ascent to higher levels of being, greater states of awareness, and more profound connection with ourselves and the world.
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
Integral Recovery: A Revolutionary Approach to the Treatment of Alcoholism and Addiction (SUNY series in Integral Theory)
Profound Meditation Program
Stealing Flow: Complete Brainwave Suite for Flow State Mastery (by iAwake Technologies and Douglas Prater)
Deep Recovery – a guided meditation from iAwake Technologies
In this episode:[1:39] A brief review of the integral map – what are the four quadrants?
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