It’s so important we start focusing on this very worthy goal. We want to thrive. So, why is it then that so often we catch ourselves in “survival mode”? “If I can just survive this Thanksgiving with all the relatives, then I can get back to normal.” Or maybe you eagerly anticipate the holiday season, yet end up having holiday hangover, which consists of depression, extra pounds gained and low energy. Either way this plays out for you, there is a point where you gave up control of your body and your life. There’s no time like now to make a change. You want 2019 to be YOUR year? That starts with doing things differently now – forming new habits for success.
Even the smallest changes can really add up. Changes or upgrades in how you think about and react to things, changes in how you get your body moving, and changes in how and what you eat are the important big three. When you make a change, you then have to perform that changed behavior long enough and consistently enough to form a habit. So, let’s talk a little bit about what it takes to form a habit.
In 2009, a study was done in the European Journal of Social Psychology where each participant chose an eating, drinking, or other behavior to perform daily following a unique cue. For example, drinking one glass of water after breakfast. This activity was to be performed for 12 weeks. The results? The average time it took for a behavior to become a habit was 66 days. More importantly, though, was the range of the data. Some participants automated their behavior after just 18 days while others took up to 254 days.
At first, you might be put off by this data. However, you just might choose to look at it from the personal power viewpoint! Habit, much like success, isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal. How long it takes to form a new habit varies wildly, depending on the type of behavior you are turning into a habit, as well as the unique individual you are while forming the habit.
So, start by making small, simple commitments, which are easy to implement, and when done one after the other will guide you on a clear path to success. Here are three examples, one in each of the big three categories mentioned previously, of commitments to new habits of success. Habits that help you reach your goals, not lead you astray from them.
- If you start to go negative in your thinking, stop immediately and mentally start listing all the things you are thankful for instead.
- Do the Morter March every morning when you get out of bed.
- End mindless snacking. Most of the time we don’t snack because we are hungry; we snack because we are bored or nervous or upset. Go drink a glass of water and take a walk instead.
You’ve got the power to change your life – to better your life – every single day. You just have to choose to do it!