It’s been psychologically proven that it takes 21 to 30 days to form a habit – good or bad. The problem is that once the habit is formed, it still isn’t etched in your brain deep enough for you to realize the benefits (or the detrimental effects). The good or bad habit must be continually repeated until it becomes instinctive.
The 21 or 30 day theory would be great if it really work out for everyone. There would be no more obesity – everyone could eat a super healthy diet. Cigarettes would become extinct and no one would have health problems.
Unfortunately, the 21 or 30 days is only a beginning to changing or forming your habit. A commitment must be developed strongly in your mind that will keep you repeating the newly hatched habit until it is a natural reaction.
There’s actually more to forming good habits than depending on will power or the power of embedding it in your brain for a certain amount of time. If you are trying to form some good habits in your life that will make you feel better, get more accomplished or become more successful in life, here are 4 tips for you:
#1 Change One Habit At A Time: Wanting to stop smoking and eating junk food at the same time is setting yourself up for failure. Any bad habits you have is going to need all your focus; start with one habit until it is etched deeply in your brain, then start another.
#2 Take Baby Steps: Baby steps, rather than giant leaps can get you where you want faster and have more of an impact than trying to do it all at once. For example, make a commitment to write 1 chapter per day than trying to complete the whole book at once.
#3 Seek Help If Needed: If you find that forming a good habit or ridding yourself from an old one is more than you are able to handle, seek help from a professional or a group of people who have the same problem. For example, a health care professional might be able to give a prescription for use while going through the early days of quitting smoking.
#4 Don’t Become Discouraged: Every people is unique. It may take longer for you to nurture a good habit than others who seem to breeze through it. Reward yourself for sticking to good habits, pick yourself up and carry on when you have an occasional slip.
Try and gain some intuition into why you have to deal with the same old bad habits over and over again. A harmful habit might be related to your relationship with other people, a desire to be comforted, or a couple of other reasons.
When you begin to understand why the bad habit haunts you, you can more easily take steps to rectify it and form good habits. Leave a comment if you have more tips to add.