6 Ways To Develop Positive New Habits
One habit at a time: The problem with trying to implement more than one habit at the same time is that the attempt to change is so overwhelming that we end up not changing any of our habits at all. We’re back to square one thinking that we are weak failures.
Because of this, it’s important to work on only one habit at a time. That way, your store of willpower can be channeled into that one habit, increasing the odds of success.
Who are you doing this for? Make sure that you are doing this for yourself and not for someone else. Doing it for someone else will limit your chances of success. What’s right for someone else may not be right for you. Focus on your goals and the things that motivate you. Don’t let guilt drive you.
How much time do you need? Science is divided on this.
-According to Stephen Covey it takes 28 days to form a new habit.
-In 1960, Dr. Maxwell Maltz wrote in his book Psycho Cybernetics that “it requires a minimum of about 21 days for an old mental image to dissolve and a new one to jell”. More than 30 million copies of this blockbuster on behavior change were sold worldwide.
-In a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology health researchers in London found that, on average, it takes 66 days to solidify and automate a new behaviour. If you want to set up your expectations accurately, it could take anywhere from two months to eight to fully formulate new norms.
Reward yourself: Seeing and feeling the result of the change you have implemented is a reward in itself, but build a reward system into the process to celebrate the successful completion of your goals. Rewarding yourself for regularly completing an action will help you to stick to the new routine.
Start with small commitments: These examples may seem simplistic, but that’s why they are so powerful.
-Walk for just 5 minutes a day and increase it as you are able to.
-Starting with one paragraph of your book a day will not seem so daunting.
-Eat one serving of vegetables a day if five seem impossible.
View it as an experiment: If you’ve really tried and stuck with it and it’s not working for you, throw it out or adapt it to something that works for you.Don’t play power games with yourself. It’s not only about willpower, it’s about determination and perseverance.