Research shows that it takes 66 days to form a new habit, which is approximately 9 weeks.
Maybe you’re starting an 8-week challenge?
Decided to quit smoking?
How to become a savvy saver instead of living pay check to pay check?
Any of these decisions are ultimately made to make our lives better and it’s important you give it time for these new habits to creep into our lives and become second nature.
Step 1 – Setting out the goal
You had dinner plans with a friend, you select your outfit and turns out you no longer fit your vintage Levi’s.
This become the last straw, you know a change needs to be made and you’re willing it give it your all to get the body back you once had. You want to feel healthy, confident and you put all your energy towards getting that back.
After dinner you write down your goals and sign up to a new gym.
You’re on your way to something better.
Step 2 – The First 3 weeks
Ahhh the first 3 weeks.
These weeks are the ones that will separate the group. Some of you will take it in your stride and persevere, the others start to feel challenged and fall off the bandwagon. It is vital to keep focused these first three weeks.
Scientists have researched and came to the conclusion our brain takes 21 days to drop our previous bad habit. This number comes from a widely popular 1960 book called Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz, a plastic surgeon who noticed his patients seemed to take about 21 days to get used to their new faces.
So give it time for it feel like it’s not a constant struggle to have that Ben and Jerry’s tub of ice cream every night. It WILL get easier.
It takes time for new habits to creep into our lives and become second nature.
Step 3 – The Middle Child
Middle child syndrome shows the child feels neglected and isn’t given as much attention as their eldest and youngest siblings.
Make sure you’re staying focused these middle weeks and give your ‘middle child’ the attention it deserves. Even though you feel great for getting through the first three weeks (and well done for doing so) but you need to keep moving forward. The hype of chasing this new goal starts to wear off and loosing focus can easily happen in this phase.
Tip: Set your display screen on your phone or a mood board on the fridge to be something representing your goal – subconsciously you will see it every day and it will remind you what it is you’re chasing.
Step 4 – The FINAL Dance
You’re so close, congratulations for the last 6 weeks and if you’re still engaged and striving for that end result chances are you won’t be failing.
These last weeks of your challenge whether it was a fitness goal, eating better or saving should be feeling a little closer. You almost can taste the success.
Personally the 7-8 week mark is one of the hardest for me. I start to see the results and become a little complacent with the small victory I have already managed to complete.
The small task here is to keep doing what you’ve done so well so far and to up the anti. Go bigger, go harder – finish on a high and don’t leave any stone unturned.
Step 5 – The Aftermath
Okay so you’ve reached it – You finally pick a small coffee over a Grande Triple Shot Caramel Latte with out any hesitation. You have formed a new healthier habit and this now shouldn’t feel like ‘hard work’. You can take your foot off the pedal a little. This is what I like to call the balance stage. Work out what you can maintain and continue down the pathway that you set out for yourself.
Set a new goal and keep striving!
Yours in Fitness,