The Formula for Creating Behaviors: Repetition and Association

This is the formula for creating behaviors and habits. Good or bad is up to us. Whatever we apply this formula to will become a behavior, a habit, an addiction and a way of life. Good or bad is up to us!


Simple and easy to understand: We do something over and over again and it gets etched into our neural pathways, becoming so familiar that we eventually feel odd and uncomfortable if we DON’T do it.

You eat a donut every day at 4pm for 3 months, you’ll not only get fat and sugary arteries, but if you suddenly stop you will get an intense donut craving at 4 o’clock every day. It makes no difference how much you KNOW the donut is BAD or how much you WANT to pass on the 4 o’clock donut. Your body AND YOUR MIND will crave that donut to the point of absolute distraction. That’s how repetition works!

CONVERSELY: If you eat a high fiber health nut breakfast every day at 9am for 4 months you will not only CRAVE the good food every morning, but be REPELLED by unhealthy food at the same time!


Every donut you had in the beginning was enjoyable and tasty. In the beginning it was just an indulgence. A treat. And each time you enjoyed it you were installing a SUBCONSCIOUS ASSOCIATION of it being GOOD, i.e. pleasurable. You had a positive feeling and thought about it in the beginning and each time you did, the POSITIVE ASSOCIATION with the daily donut got etched deeper and deeper into your brain, mind and body.

PLEASE SUBSTITUTE DONUT WITH YOUR PARTICULAR VICE; SHOPPING, HEROIN, SEX, COKE, METH. It all works on similar principles just at different octaves!

This double whammy force etches the donut and the heroin behavior into your subconscious mind through REPETITION AND ASSOCIATION. Say it with me: REPETITION AND ASSOCIATION!

Now pay attention: YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS MIND DOES NOT KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOOD OR BAD BEHAVIORS. It only knows what you teach it. It only knows what you teach it through REPETITION AND ASSOCIATION.

Pleasure Pain Principle

Whether it’s donuts, heroin, TV, shopping or cocaine, your subconscious mind’s job is to enforce the PLEASURE PAIN PRINCIPLE: to seek pleasure and avoid pain.

THAT’S IT’S JOB: to seek pleasure and avoid pain.

In this basic fundamental way we are no different than simple minded, primitive animals. But we ARE different. We can interact with and shape and form our pain and pleasure associations with our WILL! You program a behavior through repetition and association and your subconscious assumes you did it for a good reason so it PROTECTS that behavior, no matter what it is!

That’s its job: To protect existing behaviors! You can—and often do—change your CONSCIOUS mind on a behavior but that doesn’t do it, does it?

If being thin, rich, charming, perfect were as simple as making up our CONSCIOUS minds we’d all be perfect, wouldn’t we?!

You wake up and see that jelly roll of fat from those accumulating donuts and say, “WHOA! I gotta lose some jelly belly! No more donuts! They are bad!”

You have made a CONSCIOUS decision to STOP eating donuts. And even though we’re not rocket scientists or brain surgeons, we have made a simple choice to stop eating donuts everyday so the work should be done, right? No. Because… The more we have REPEATED a behavior and the more positive the ASSOCIATION is, the more fiercely your subconscious mind will protect and reinforce it!

Tactical Support


But there’s good news too! If we DO get the subconscious on board it will do nearly all the work for us! AND since it doesn’t know the difference between good or bad behaviors and will protect ANYTHING and EVERYTHING with the same zeal, then we can get it to work FOR us instead of against us! This is EXACYTLY what is meant by CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

Happy woman with outstretched arms enjoying the view on morning mountain valley

This is the power-science of your mind: To use the same formula it uses to sustain BAD behaviors, habits and addictions to create GOOD ones. REPEAT: We can use repetition and association to create good habits and behaviors and get the power science of the mind to work FOR us instead of against us!

Want to learn more about becoming a Recovery Supporter?

Click this link for more free resources!