Just 20 days, that’s all there is… In 20 days, you will be celebrating that 2016 has arrived, and with it, the countless amount of new year resolutions you have promised to yourself between family dinners and champagne glasses.
That means 3 weeks to revindicate yourself and make this year, the year in which you began to get in shape, the year that you began to be more productive, the year that you began to eat healthier, the year that you decided to improve.
Soon you will see, as the year comes to its end, the stores begin to get dressed in red and green. The shopping starts and we are just eager to take a break. Suddenly procrastination has taken over and we start making our list of things to achieve in 2018.
Quick question: Think of the promises that you made to yourself at the beginning of this year, how many of them did you actually achieve?
Seriously, why wait? You know how it always starts. In the first two weeks you are super motivated, following the diet, not smoking, going to the gym, and then… it all breaks down. Before you know it, you made it a habit not to work on your new habits and things go back to normal.
Now, I’m sure that it doesn’t have to go down this way. I’m certain that you are very capable of making a change in your life. That you are able to wrap up 2017 as the year that you decided to take action. The year that changed it all. But, do YOU want to make it different?
About Forming New Habits.
According to research done by Phillippa Lally and her colleagues published by the European Journal of Social Psychology, it takes on average 66 days to form a new habit. This means that if you were to start today, by the time you get back to work in January, you would do it with a new habit.
What a way to start the year! Rather than struggling all the way until March, you would be ready to get ahead from the start.
But wait! it gets better. The study also says that depending on the habit, the time will vary greatly. For habits that are easy to implement, it will take you about 18 days and about 8 months (254 days) for those that require more work.
Which ones are easy or hard? That depends on you and how you see the habit but, I can give you an easy to follow 5 point framework to help you increase your chances of success.
- Write down the top 5 habits you would like to have right now.
- How will they help you improve your life?
- Rank them in order of importance and how hard do you consider it will be to develop them.
- By when do you want to develop them?
- How do you plan to develop them?
I believe that one of the biggest reasons why people fail at forming new habits is because they don’t create a clear plan to help them attain the habit.
If you just say, I want to eat healthier, it’s hard to track and implement. But, if you get specific on what it means to eat healthier and by when do you want to achieve it, it will increase your chances of making it happen.
What not to do:
- Making a crazy list of 10 different items and attempting to follow through with all of them at the same time. One by one, day by day. Don’t overwhelm yourself.
- Not avoiding triggers that may hold you back on achieving your task for the day. For example, meeting some friends before going to work out.
- Waiting too much time to start again when you fall off the wagon. When you fall, you need to get back on track as soon as possible or you may lose the motivation to continue.
- Letting your guard down during the 3rd week after starting. Don’t get demotivated if you don’t see results yet, trust me, they will come very soon, just keep on going.
To wrap it up.
Patience is a virtue and so it’s perseverance. If you really want to make a positive change in your life, just keep pushing forward.
Time will pass by anyway, what matters is what you do with it. Will you take advantage of it or just let it slip away?
Keep it simple and take it one day at the time. The moment the task becomes automatic (no effort required), it means that you have developed a new habit.
For more resources on how to create a new habit, I will be sharing them in the next newsletter, you can sign up for it below.
Also, if you know of somebody who may benefit from this post, make sure to share it with them.
Before you go, I would like to know what kind of habits would you like to develop or get rid of? how do you plan to do it? and how will you stay motivated in the process? Please share them in the comments section by scrolling down.