3 Weeks to Perfect a Habit? Wrong!
Do you ever feel like creating healthier habits (working out, self-care, stress reduction, etc.) is a lot of harder than it should be? Hang on, because I’ve got some news for you that I hope makes you feel a whole lot better about it!
In a nutshell, it all comes down to one thing. Your MINDSET. Once you get your mindset right, everything else begins to fall into place.
Fun fact: You don’t have to be born with a positive mindset. It’s something you can create and strengthen over time.Everyone struggles with mastering new habits – things like time management, sticking with a new workout plan, getting up earlier, reading more, etc. You might even be familiar with the cycle of doing great for a few days (or even a few weeks) and then time goes by and the habit is not a part of your day. You might start to feel a little guilty… angry or upset with yourself… and then either forget the habit all together or start fresh the next day.
Well, have you ever heard the saying that it only takes three weeks to make a new habit? I am not sure who came up with that number, but guess what? It’s WRONG!
It actually takes NEARLY THREE TIMES LONGER than that – depending on the person, the habit, and the situation. A study published in the UK found that on average, it takes about 66 days to develop a new habit. This news actually makes me feel a lot better, and I hope it does you, too. It takes the pressure off being “perfect” right out of the gate. Perfection is overrated anyway. :)
Creating a new habit can be hard, and you can end up with unrealistic expectations – like having it mastered in just a few weeks. Good news! The study also showed that missing a day or two doesn’t mean you’re back to square one in creating the habit. Be prepared to slip up now and then, and when you do, get yourself back on track as soon as possible. Eventually, it WILL become easier, especially when you start to see the results of all your effort!
Lasting changes take time – so whenever possible, make sure you enjoy the ride! It’ll increase the likelihood you’ll own that new habit.
In January I read a fun book by Gretchen Rubin titled "Better than Before", I highly recommend the audiobook version. Her insight into habits and change was refreshing and validating.
Do you need a little strategy session to come up with troubleshooting advice for making those habits a reality? Contact me we can set up a time to chat.
In Wiggles & Wellness,