Have you ever noticed how quickly and easily you can pick up a bad habit? Yet, when your goal is to form a good habit, it can be an uphill battle!
Maybe you have a goal to eat healthier, work out regularly, or even just try to wake up earlier. Or you could be trying to form good financial habits, like spending less on groceries or sticking to your budget. Whatever your goal, you probably know what it’s like to feel stuck in a rut. The key is to start out determined and just stick to the plan for a little while… the next thing you know, the first week is over and you’re right on track!
When forming a new habit, it has to become second nature. You must get to a point where you don’t even think twice about it. Until you’ve gotten there, it’s so easy to become discouraged and give up.
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Over the years I’ve heard a lot of people talk about how it takes 21 days to form a habit. But we both know that is so beyond false! If you have been carrying around a bad eating habit for your whole lifetime, how realistic is it to expect everything to change in just 21 days?
Some habits take a shorter – or longer – time to become second nature, but I’m here to tell you, don’t expect it to happen overnight! Or even in a month. In fact, some new studies show it takes an average of 66 days to form a habit.
That number may seem scary to you. “Dani, I can barely get myself to work out 2 days in a row – let alone 66 days!” Remember, everything starts with making a decision. When you make a solid decision and follow it with action, you will succeed.
That being said, here are a couple practical tips to help you commit to the actions needed to form good, healthy habits:
- Start slow! For example, if you want to start working out, start by doing it 10 or 15 minutes a day and work your way up to longer, and more intense, workouts. If the goal is to get up an hour earlier, on your first day just set your alarm 5 minutes earlier. Then move the time back in 5 minute increments, until you reach your goal. If you want to eat better, start small. Focus on making small changes, instead of reworking your entire diet all at once.
- Working up to your goal will make it easier and make it more attainable. It’s just like when you schedule small appointments as you work to achieve business or financial goals. Break whatever good habit you want to achieve into smaller pieces, so you can continue to make progress – a little bit at a time. Small steps in the right direction will get you to your goal so much faster, than if you try to take one ginormous step, end up discouraged and then just quit.
- That said, don’t get discouraged. Messing up one day is NOT a setback! I see this all the time. People start eating healthy and after a week they miss a day. And then they miss two days. After that, they just give up. There is no such thing as losing ground when forming a good habit!
- An excellent way to avoid getting discouraged is to celebrate your success. If you have worked up to exercising 15 minutes a day or waking up 10 minutes earlier – pat yourself on the back! Even if you messed up one day out of the whole week, it doesn’t discount all the progress you HAVE made. You are still better off than you were the week before.
I sincerely hope you use these tips and also use them to help encourage other people in your life. If you know someone who has been trying to develop a new habit, celebrate their small milestones with them! Pass this message on to them to let them know what a great job they’re doing!
I would also love to hear your thoughts about this. What good habits would you like to pick up now? What is your biggest challenge when eliminating bad habits and creating good ones? What progress have you made? Tell me below, so I can celebrate with you and encourage you! Our whole team is always here to support YOU and celebrate YOUR success.
Then, join me today for The Dani Johnson Show, when we discuss more tips and strategies designed to help you achieve ALL your goals! You can tune in on your TV and radio or you can always stream today’s show right here on our website.
In great faith,
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