We all have heard the classic it takes 21 days to set or change a habit. How many of you have documented proof that on day 21 you have completely learned or unlearned a bad habit? Not very many of you have this proof. One of the reasons is science now tells us after 21 days you barely 1/3 of the way to making that change permanent. In a study found in the European Journal of Social Psychology, it states that changing habits takes 66 days! No wonder it is so difficult to make changes that last.
In today’s “give it to me now” society, 66 days seems like 66 months. What is a person to do about this? Well the range of days is actually 18-254, depending on the person. The point is learning new healthier habits takes work and is not easy. Stick to a challenging yet realistic plan that sets you up for success. If for some reason you do not accomplish the goal for the day, no worries, everything is fine, start again the next day. Continuing to build momentum toward making a permanent change is the main focus and having a bad day or two is just human. With weight loss for example, two to three pounds a week is what you will average out when your weight goal is done. It starts with making better choices on a daily basis and learning from the failures and successes.
The motivation comes from your Why. If your Why is not big enough, your habit will not change. Think about your Why everyday and let it guide you to make those healthier choices of walking, eating less sugar, or lifting more weight than usual. Adding up the small daily wins gives you the huge victory in 66 short days later! Get some support and accountability, then change your mindset to a longer view than tomorrow. A healthier you is loved and appreciated by everyone you have a relationship with: business, family, friends, and personal.
Matt Peale is not immune to bad habits. He hates getting up early to exercise like anyone else, even though he is an NASM Certified Personal Trainer. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org any time. Also Like his Facebook page and check out how Learn To Move Academy can help your school, sports team, and Active Aging process.