It is time to bury bad habits in a ditch

Posted: Apr 5, 2024 HEALTH HABITS

Habit streaks do little to break a habit. It looks cool but so what? I could have a sweet streak going and be miserable at the same time. That sounds pretty shitty to me.

I don’t want to be miserable. And I don’t want to continue bad habits.

Atomic Habits’ bit on cues and the habit cycle are interesting to me. Cues are the things that start the cycle. They make us think about the habit out of nowhere. They start the 45-minute monologue that tells us to give in to the craving.

Keep in mind cues go both ways. They can start the cycle of positive habits. But we’ll come back to that.

Knowing that cues are the key to breaking the loop, this is where I want to shift my focus.

At Code Carton we are developing an app to solve this problem. To learn more check out Ditches

There are 3 steps to burying our cues.

  1. Discovery
  2. Understanding
  3. Death


A cue is the smell of food in the air. It’s a signal to our brain that we are close to satisfaction. It can come from anywhere. A place, time, feeling, a conversation.

Therefore, the system for understanding what our cues are needs to be adaptive, readily available, and low friction. Keeping an elaborate Google Sheet of our cues isn’t going to cut it.

Luckily, everyone has access to a mobile device within reach. It’s an obvious place to capture our cues in real time. To keep the friction low the capture phase shouldn’t require us to change the habit yet.


With a laundry list of cues stacked up, it’s time to get insights on them.

The discovery phase laid the groundwork for understanding. Logging each cue as it happens tells us when, where, and why we had the cue. We can extract this information into quickly digestible graphs to find common threads and trends.


Time to bury the habit. Take the insights gained from the understanding phase and remove them from the environment as much as possible. Create an action plan that lists out alternative solutions. These should be done ahead of time so that we can act quickly when we notice a cue is imminent.

This is where cues for positive habits shine. Orient the action plan to trigger cues for positive habits. They can do double duty creating new cues to get into positive habits.


So that’s our plan to bury our bad habits. Interested in digging a few of your own ditches? Learn more at