Your Success Lies In What You Do Daily
“Tomorrow I’m going to wake up early and start jogging!” ” I’m going to start eating healthy from now on!”
We all have good intentions to improve ourselves. Some of us seem to be able to go through with what we say we will do while others have a long grocery list of reasons why they have to stop pursuing the habit they wanted to build. How are some people able to “stick it out” in good habit building? What are they doing differently to be successful and motivated” that the rest of us are not doing?
The common belief is that forming a habit can take 21 days. For some, that might be a long time to keep up with that daily intense workout routine (the one they began on New year’s day). But, Is this belief actually true?
How Long does it actually take to form a new habit?
In a study done by Phillipa Lally (Health Psychology Research, University College, London) 96 participants were asked to take on the task of adopting a new habit over the course of 12 weeks. The participants pursued new health habits which differed from person to person. Although the study was not perfect, it did reveal that forming a habit most certainly takes longer than 21 days. In fact, it took, on average, 66 days to form a new habit.
Clearly, forming new habits will vary from person to person and depend on the type of habit being formed. For example, a new habit of drinking a glass of water each morning might be formed more quickly than doing intense morning workouts every day.
Quick Tips for Forming a New Habit:
Be intentional about setting goals for your new habit (discipline). Write down what you want to do. Set your parameters (When?, Where? How? Why?) Answering these questions can help you to track and measure your progress. Put your new habit into your schedule. Treat it like anything else you have to do that is important to you. Finally, keep a log, a journal or some other way of daily measuring your progress.
Have some kind of reminder or trigger that tricks your brain into going into action mode. For example, if your goal is to jog each morning before your coffee, have your jogging clothes out ready and your running shoes at the door. Go into action mode. Do what you have decided to do. Tell yourself it’s time.
Then, give yourself a reward afterward. Giving a reward is how you can send a message to your brain that this is what you want to do and “here’s why” – I get a REWARD. Help your brain record the idea that this is an activity to be repeated automatically.
Don’t sabotage your efforts by listening to your excuses. Speak to yourself and tell yourself that you will not accept excuses. Visualize your success. Actually, create a mind video that you can replay to yourself any time you feel like quitting. You are in control of your thoughts and your decisions.
4. Get Around a Group or a Community for Support and Encouragement
Just as Alcohol Anonymous has always succeeded with the group support model, the same is true for developing new habits. Get around people who can encourage you and keep you accountable. A Community
creates belief. The power of association helps turn a new habit into a permanent behavior. Success
is yours if you choose.
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Diana’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog, Skye. You can connect with her through livingandstuff.ca
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