It is hard to start a new habit. It is also very hard to break an old one. However, it is VERY do-able! Have you ever met someone who quit smoking? Smoking is a very hard habit to break. Ask them to entertain you with the details of their struggle. It takes a lot of dedication, commitment, and mental strength. The person also really has to want it.
The same can be said about starting a new habit. I’m going to keep with the addiction analogy because a lot of healthy new habit involve breaking old habits. Some of those old habits can be quite addictive….like the person who instinctually adds more salt to their already highly processed and salted food. In the addiction world, 28 day facilities exist. In these facilities – I’m basing this a bit from my psychology degree, the book A Million Little Pieces by James Frey, and also from Hollywood movies I have watched – , people are essentially cut off from society. They have no access to whatever they were addicted to and they are in an environment that promotes change.
Our world is not like a 28 day facility at all. However, I like the idea of 28 days. You want to start a new habit? Give yourself 28 days. Set your world up to accommodate this new habit.
Let’s say that your new habit it drinking more water?
Before, you had tried drinking more water and consistently failed. However, now you are giving yourself 28 days to start this new habit. You are going to set up your world to accommodate this habit.
How? Let’s get old school on it.
1. Make a count down. Number your calendar from the first day to the last. July 1st is day 28…July 2nd is day 27….etc.etc.
2. Litter your environment with reminders of WHY you want to drink more water. Pictures in your cubicle of water glasses with a reason WHY such as “it will help me lose weight” or “my skin will look better.” It’s only 28 days…who cares if your house and work environment make you look a little weird if it helps you get your habit accomplished.
3. Get through the first day. Once you have done one day of your new habit, you can always remind yourself of that. If you have done it before, you can do it again.
4. Allow for set backs, but don’t get off the horse! That’s what the countdown is for! By the time you get to “3 more days,” it should start to feel natural…like something you have always done.
5. Talk about your new habit. Tell everyone you know. Shout about it. Post it on Facebook. Being open with everyone about your new habit will encourage people to randomly ask you about it. It will also keep you accountable. Ever been asked, “whats new?” and didn’t have one thing to say? Now you do.
“I started a new habit recently. Decided it was time for a change.”
BOOM! The world of small talk has just reached a new level for you. Perhaps you will even INSPIRE the person you were chatting with to change some of their old habits.
6. Remember, you can do this. People change everyday. It is hard. It is a struggle. But it’s so worth it. “be the change that you wish to see.” -Gandhi
Have fun & Be Active,
Rebecca from Build it for Life