Often times in our lives there is a need to learn one or two new habits isn’t it? Anyone with a gravitational grip could be needing change in behavior or habits. This need could be the desire to walk away from a bad habit and other times it could be that we want to increase our productivity levels which require us to learn a whole new life style.
A lot of people set milestones when a new year is beginning and at the end of the year they are nowhere to be found close to achieving these goals simply because, they have not been able to learn the habits that fit such lifestyle.
Jeremy Dean in his book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” explains that activities we once consider painful like getting up early to go to work, become less so with repetition. On the other hand, activities which excite or give us pleasure initially, like sex, beer or listening to music soon become mundane. And we fight against the leaking away of pleasure , sometimes with success by seeking variety. This is why some people feel they have to keep pushing the boundaries of experience just to get the same high. That is the way habits revolve.
It is good to develop good habits because whatever can be done automatically frees up our progressive power for other thoughts, it helps to conserve mental energy. And that is central component of a habit; Acting without thinking or automatically.
The time it takes to learn a new habit is dependent on how complicated this new habit is. Many studies show that 21 days is all it takes. It is quite true for moderate habits like waking up early, meditating or drinking water every morning. More complex habits such as trying to quite an addiction, or an amputee going without a limb could take longer. Regardless, one could still make it; just keep repeating till it sticks.
So, if you are looking for a guild on how to do it then here is one.
Stop Making Excuses
When there is need to learn new habits, there are also challenges that stand in the way and there is always a temptation to turn these challenges to be the excuses why we can’t make that behaviour a new habit.
Amanda wanted to lose weight so that she can fit into her cloths better and have the curves in the right places. She wants kim kadashian’s waist, khloe’s butt and kylie’s legs (Haha those are the pictures I often catch her looking at whenshe is alone so, I assume). But she was always making excuses about why she has to eat this and that, how the gym instructor is not serious and how everyone at the gym is slim except for her. Then one day she slumped and the doctor said the worst could happen if she didn’t lose some of the weight. She experienced what Brian Tracy called significant emotional experience, the fear of the worse to happen. It was a deal breaker for her and her excuses. Amanda went to the gym regularly and even ate very health under less supervision.
At the end of the day this excuses don’t deserve to be the reason why you should be laid back. These excuses may be more complex with more complex habits but no matter the weight they carry, it’s not enough to weigh your determination. In fact they turn to fade away the moment you start practicing that which you want to turn to a habit.
Tell Someone About It
Lay ups at the three point arc were a challenge for me during the basket ball game so, I told Gabriel I will always do planks in the morning to build my core strength. Meanwhile on a normal day I hate them planks. So, after two days of doing it I stopped, and when Gabriel asked me if I did the planks the following day, I told him “no”. He gave me a pathetic look. From that day on, even if it’s just for two minutes, I will plank so that my answer will be positive when he checks in. guess what… I love planking now. I must do it anytime am working out.
There is a pull in telling someone about you intentions. Your biggest dreams that you are scared about yourself, you are afraid of telling someone because if you do you will have no option but to prove yourself by doing it so, you keep it within secret. The same thing is applied to habits, if you tell someone it’s in our psychological nature to try to keep to it sometimes even if they don’t remember to check on.
Set Trigger Moments
Trigger moments serve as reminders. They remind us from time to time to do that which we have decided to make a habit. It could be in the form of removing barrier or making reminder notice. If you have decided to make smiling a habit maybe because you learnt it makes one look younger or more beautiful. You can write it somewhere you will see it from time to time in the course of the day. You can also use your magnetic letters to arrange the word smile on your refrigerator so that anytime you make for a drink or anything , you will remember to smile. And thank god we carry our mobile phones 24/7, you can set a reminder for whatever it is so that once it comes on with the note to do that which you want to make a habit, then it grows.