OK, here we are in March…ten weeks into the New Year. How are those resolutions coming along? Noticed any habits that still need changing? Hmmm… Let’s think about this for a couple minutes. What is a habit anyway? When it is easier to do it than not, right? Sooooo, how much do you really want to change? Those behavioral patterns are such a part of you that they feel like family, don’t they (and not always the family that you like…)?
We’ve all heard that it takes 21 days to change a habit, but recently, I discovered the truth; it actually takes much more…which, let’s be honest, we already all knew, since when we couldn’t change a habit in three short weeks we just figured we hadn’t tried hard enough and had failed yet again. Ugh!…so feeling stupid and broken, most of us give up. Drum roll, please: It appears that it takes an average of 66 days (10 weeks!) to change a habit. For some of us it is less…and for some of us it is more. YIKES! Shall we be honest and admit it took lots longer to form the bad habit to begin with…and it’s been part of our life for ages, right? In that light, what’s ten weeks in the whole scheme of things??
How committed are you to making the changes you desire? Try these three steps:
- Set your goals and be consistent. Don’t lose heart if you miss a day or two along the way. This won’t derail you or undo what you’ve already accomplished. In fact, sometimes it helps your momentum to restart with renewed commitment.
- Willpower is a muscle; so yes, it needs to be exercised. Practice delaying gratification. Try making it a game. Write it down. Set goals for yourself. Figure out your barriers and set up a plan to overcome them. Applaud yourself when you succeed (this feels REALLY good!).
- Don’t do it alone. Have a community of people to support you. Try making your goals public: write them down, post them on Facebook and Twitter, state them out loud to your friends and family. Hire a coach if you are really serious. Successful people have written goals, a strong support system and are willing to take the steps necessary to achieve their goals.
Here’s the thing: The brain is on auto-pilot most of the time. So how do we change this? With lots of practice, patience, persistence and time, we can lock in the good habits and erase the undesired ones. Most of all, we have to CHOOSE to do it consciously. It doesn’t happen on it’s own.
Hope this has energized you to get some shifting started! Please share your questions and comments below. I’d love to support you in any way that I can. Perhaps you’d like more clarity on all this? Schedule a free 30-minute consultation. Your new life awaits!
Make this the year you actually say NO to what you don’t want… and YES to what you DO want.
Ellen Thomas is passionately dedicated to helping women who are frustrated with spending time and money on personal development and still don’t feel like they get how to implement the tools. She helps them by holding their hand and guiding them through the maze so they not only experience the AHA moments, but also experience forward movement into the life they’ve been craving and deserve. Find out more at www.ellenthecoach.com