How Long Does It Take To Change A Habit?
A few thoughts on the “depends”:
1. What habit are you trying to change? Some will be easier to establish than will others. For example, if you’ve been eating the same fatty, preservative and sugar filled lunch for the past 10 years and you’ve decided to switch to fresh veggies, it’s going to take some time. There will be setbacks.
If you’re “tweaking” something and making a small improvement like starting to exercise 45 minutes a day when you are currently at 30 minutes, the time to habit change will be probably be much shorter. Making the change doable and consistently repeatable is key.
2. What are the benefits to continuing with your bad habit? We have bad habits because they give us the buzz of a short-term payoff. It’s that feeling of plopping down on the sofa with a magazine and bowl of ice cream or gleefully spending hours posting on FaceBook instead of learning a new healthy recipe. You wouldn’t have a bad habit if there weren’t some benefit.
The more immediate and tasty the payoff, the harder it will be to break the bad habit and replace it with a good one.
3. How often/automatically do you choose the bad habit? The more often/automatically you do it, the harder it will be to change it. After all, you have to be aware that you’re doing something that is not good for you in order to replace it with something positive and worthwhile.
The secret to habit change is: Repeat, repeat, repeat! It’s like sex or driving a car, eventually it comes naturally. You just do it. That’s because of one thing and one thing only: Lots and lots of practice. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Are you ready to make a tweak or a big shift? Web app BRIGHTERSTEP.com will help you make it happen.