Psychology has proven that it usually takes 21 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 to realize all the benefits (or the downsides). Habits must be continually repeated until they become automatic.
If the 21 day theory was permanent there would be no more obesity, smoking and no one would have an anger problem. Amazing! Unfortunately those 21 days are only the start of changing or forming a habit. You must make a strong commitment to bettering yourself and repeat the newly hatched habit until it becomes a natural reaction.
To help you along the way we’ve put together some tips to support you in feeling better, accomplishing more and being the successful person you want to be:
Change one habit at a time
– Trying to quit smoking and junk food at the same time is setting yourself up for failure. Any addictive habit you have is going to need all of your focus. Therefore multitasking is not going to help you here. Beating one habit will give you the motivation to beat the next. Focusing on each new habit in turn helps them to become automatic and last a lifetime.
– Giant leaps don’t tend to get you where you want to go any faster. Trying to do everything all at once makes the entire process ten times harder on yourself. For example, making a commitment to write two pages of a book each day is more sustainable than attempting to finish a chapter in one night. When you’ve mastered one step, move onto the next and looking back you’ll be impressed by your progress.
– If you find you feel this is more than you can handle, seek help from a professional or a group of people in the same boat. For example, a health care professional can give you a prescription during the early days of quitting smoking. The more support you surround yourself with, the more likely you are to succeed.
– Everyone is different, and it may take longer for you to form a good habit than others. Reward yourself often for sticking to your good habit and pick yourself up after the occasional slip. You have only failed when you give up on yourself.
It’s beneficial to try and gain insight into why you repeat certain habits over and over. It may involve relationships, a desire for comfort or because of stress. Understanding the underlying reasons can make it easier to rectify these mistakes. Birmingham Counselling Services can help you unlock this insight, get in touch at: http://birminghamcounsellingservices.co.uk/