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Charles Duhigg Explains The Science Of How Habits Form In Our Brains (VIDEO)

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What's the secret to breaking bad habits?

First, it helps to know how habits form in our brains. They are actually cemented there by a "three-part habit loop," Charles Duhigg, author of "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business," tells HuffPost Live in the video above.

"The first part is there's this cue, a trigger for an automatic behavior," Duhigg says in the video. "And then there's a routine, which is the behavior itself, then finally a reward, and the reward is how your brain learns to latch on to this pattern and make it automatic for the future."

So, the key to breaking habits, Duhigg says, is to recognize the cue and reward linked to your habit, and then replace your habit with another substitute behavior.

The process is simple with baby steps, Duhigg adds. For instance, if you want to start exercising, first spend a week getting into your jogging clothes and sitting on the couch. That way, when it comes time to actually get outside and take a walk around the block, it will come with a victorious feeling that becomes an incentive to push harder.

"It's known as the science of small wins," he said. "We know that if you have this sense of momentum, of victory, it makes the next steps much easier."

Find out how companies like Starbucks and Febreeze use the science of habits to influence customers at HuffPost Live HERE:

Arianna Huffington and Mika Brzezinski are taking The Third Metric on a 3-city tour: NY, DC & LA. Tickets are on sale now at thirdmetric.com.

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