How To Change A Habit
Experts agree it takes 21 days to break a bad habit and form a new one.
Daily Activities To Help Change Habits
"I should change, but I've tried and failed." Does this sound familiar? Often, changing habits does seem insurmountable. Many of us simply don't have enough motivation to change our habits - all of our bad habits - in a way that would truly affect our health. We cling to them because we see them as rewards.
But your habits determine your health. Below is a strategy and focus on daily activities to help you change and eliminate bad habits.
It Takes 21 Days To Break A Bad Habit
To begin with, choose one unhealthy habit you wish to eliminate or change. Or, choose a healthy habit you want to adopt as part of your behavior. If it is a habit to eliminate, you may wish to go "cold turkey" or have a gradual tapering off. Caution: If it is a drug or chemical habit you are planning on eliminating, be sure to obtain an expert's opinion as to whether you need to taper off usage as opposed to quitting cold turkey.
Now that you have decided which unhealthy habit to eliminate, or new habit to adopt, decide on the date you will begin your behavior change. Give this date a good deal of thought and then write it down. For example, "On February 15, 2001, I will become a non-smoker."
In order to ensure behavior change, experts agree that it takes a minimum of 21 days to change a behavior. Again, look at the date you are planning on changing your habit. Count ahead 21 days and mark that date down. Now, make a commitment that you will follow your plan for 21 days.
Your target date has arrived. It is the first day of your 21-day cycle. Here are some helpful suggestions for habit change:
The following are some suggestions to follow each day in order to sustain motivation and determination:
Fatigue, boredom, depression, stress can all make it difficult to stick with your program. But having a relapse isn't as important as how you deal with the relapse. If you are so devastated by failure that you call your good intentions into question, that will make habit change harder for you. But, if you allow for an occasional relapse and treat it as nothing more than a slight misstep that teaches you something, then you're on the right track.
Follow the suggestions in this article, adopt the more helpful attitude of evaluating your progress and accepting relapses, and you will find yourself reaching many of your goals. You will have achieved true behavior change.
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