5 Things You Must Know About Healthy Habit Formation
5 Things you must know about Healthy Habit Formation
A habit can permanently be made or broken in less than a month. This has been scientifically proven by many sources. One of the most popular psychology books Psycho-Cybernetics by Dr Maltz, suggests that it takes 21 days for habit formation to occur and become second nature.
When we start to apply habit formation, we are putting conscious thought and willpower into the task we are performing. Once we’ve performed that task for a few days, it will take less conscious thought and motivation to do it. Eventually, after around 21 days, that task will become second nature and we will perform it on autopilot. Even demanding habits are easy once you’ve reached this point, however, most of us struggle to get this far. In this article, I will help you exceed this point with some easy to follow tips.
It is great to set huge goals, don’t get me wrong. However, when it comes to habit formation, these can potentially work against you. Large tasks are easier to fall back on, and once you begin to slack when maintaining a habit, your motivation will go out of the window and people tend to drop the habit. On the other hand, when you set small goals, you are much more likely to keep meeting them, and this will give you constant motivation which can lead to bigger goals.
Every time you successfully imply a new behaviour, it is a good idea to reward yourself. This reinforces the habit and makes you feel better about doing it. If you are lacking the motivation to get started, the reward at the end of the task may just be what is needed to push through it and complete it.
Imagine the habit
If you struggle to find the time to imply your new behaviour, then it would be very beneficial to visualise it as often as possible. This has a similar effect on your subconscious mind as it would when you perform the task itself. Being specific is key as it makes your visualisation more realistic. The more times it is visualised, the more it gets drilled into your subconscious, therefore the habit will become automated in less time using only your mind. This principle applies to many things in life. For example, if you visualise yourself being social on a frequent basis, your subconscious will make you feel like a more social person, therefore, your social skills will improve. These principles can be taken directly from some of my favourite books such as Psycho-Cybernetics and also The Law of Attraction which I highly recommend.
Reinforce the habit with words
Creating an affirmation can do wonders for your habit development, and it is very simple. You simply say a phrase to yourself which relates to what you do when performing the habit. Like the point above, repetition and specifics are key. If you struggle to go for that morning jog when it’s raining, then you could say something like “I’m always motivated to go for my morning jog, even if there is a thunderstorm outside!” A phrase like this temporarily tricks your subconscious until it becomes drilled into it, which turns it into reality.
The main thing to remember when it comes to habit formation is that it takes around 21 days for the habit to become second nature. These first 21 days can be a struggle but after that, it is only going to get easier and you will notice the benefits before you know it. A good example of Apply these little techniques discussed in this article and you will be on the way to success in no time!
If you are struggling to think of a habit to develop, then take some inspiration from my morning routine article!
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