A Great Way to Adapt Habits!

Break Bad Habits | Hari Kalymnios | The Thought Gym

I want to share with you something that might help you design new habits. Habit are the cornerstone of most of our activities and accomplishments. It’s because of good habits that most people are likely to succeed. Whether that’s getting into the habit of posting something on LinkedIn/Instagram etc each day/week that can inspire or uplift people, or the habit of making a green smoothie every morning to get you supercharged for the day ahead. Habits are everything.

They are also notoriously hard to break bad ones and equally hard to create new ones.

Since 2002, I’ve been doing this and found it to work.

That is, each year at lent (which for regular Christians starts tomorrow – 9th Feb 2016) I choose to give up something or start something. Note, that you do not have to be religious (I’m not) in order for this to work. Lent just gives you a definitive time frame and it falls into line when other (more religious types, might also be doing something similar). I’ve just found that for me, it’s easy enough to explain away to enquiring minds.

One year I gave up meat, another alcohol, another bread. I went back to all of them. But that’s the beauty. You get to choose at the end whether to keep them or not. Consciously.

I have since stopped with meat and bread, and rarely have any alcohol, but they started at different lent years from the original ones. But the fact I knew I could do it for 7-8 weeks meant I knew I could do it longer term.

One year, I started exercising in the morning before work. Something I though I could never do or keep up, but after that initial lent period (I think back in 2008) I’ve been able to keep it up most mornings.

Researchers say that it takes 21 days to form a habit. While that is not strictly true – some others state 66 days. I say it depends on a number of factors. The habit you’re trying to instil (it’s usually harder to keep an exercise habit up after only 21 days of being into it), the person you are, motivations and so on. However, after 7 weeks, you’re likely to be in a better position, that’s for sure.

Give it a go. It’s only 7 weeks. Then you can go back to the old way! I know I probably will, as this year it’s buying crisps and chips when I’m out and about that is the challenge!

What do you think? Any cool tips for habit formation? What are you going to change this lent? Comment below. 🙂

What do you think?