How many bad habits do you have?
What about good ones?
I’m willing to bet that you think you have “too many” bad habits, and you’d like to replace a few of them with good habits, right?
In 1960 Dr Maxwell Maltz said that it takes 21 days to form a habit.
Since then people have vehemently agreed with this… and also vehemently disagreed.
I guess it depends on the size of the habit you are trying to stop or start
Personally, I think it takes a lifetime
To embed any habit into your life, you have to stick with it until becomes standard behaviour.
Where you do it without even thinking about it.
So, how do you do that?
There are a couple of things that can help you here.
My first tip is to appeal to your good old friend from last weeks tips – Dopamine.
Your brain releases dopamine when you complete something
So you can build on this by using a habit tracker – see below.
Use the habit tracking sheet to set out the habits you want to work on, and give yourself a tick (a grown-up equivalent of a gold star) when you complete the habit each day.
Seeing rows of completed tasks will give you a dopamine hit that will help you to keep coming back to add more ticks!
I managed to combine 2 habits on Saturday, by going for a long bike ride and taking my photo a day for wellness
The second tip is to start small, and make it really easy.
Author James Clear talks about wanting to start a habit of flossing his teeth every day – but it seemed like such a big thing to try and fit into his daily routine.
So he did two things: he put the dental floss on the shelf in his bathroom right next to his toothbrush so that he would be reminded of it every time he cleaned his teeth.
Secondly – and perhaps more importantly – he told himself that his task was to floss only one tooth each day.
That’s such a small task, it takes mere seconds. Soon he had built up to two teeth, then three, and so on.
It can be really hard to affect positive behaviour change.
If you have a new healthy habit in mind that you’d love to start doing, make it easy for yourself and in the process you give yourself the best fighting chance of success!
Let me know what habits you are trying to start or stop?