Change your Habits – Change your Life
Change your Habits – Change your Life
New year is over and you are still working on your intentions – are you? You want to change the size of the clothes for next spring and summer collection and your aim is to go to the beach this year as a mermaid or dolphin? Or you want to change your eating habits to a more healthier diet to feel powerful and energetic in your life?
Sure, this is all achievable and you can do it too! But how long will it take to go through these changes until you can integrate the desired habits into your new life?
A surgeon called Maxwell Maltz discovered in the 1950ies, that no matter what operation people had, losing a leg or getting another new part of the body, it took them on average of at least 21 days to adapt to the new situation.
He combined this theory and other of his discoveries and ideas he made in behavioral science and wrote his book “Psycho-Cybernetics”. This book got a bestseller!
His theory was then taken over by many personal development trainers and changed to their taste.
Maltz’s vision has been spread all over the world and simple reasons can be taken for this reason:
- Easy to understand
- Inspires people as it sounds pretty short – I can change my life in 21 days!
- on the other hand, 21 days sounds explainable and long enough to change a habit
We have to understand, that Maltz took this theory on to paper out of his perspective and did not reconsider his findings on a scientific basis.
In order to get behind and understand, how long it takes to really change a habit we have to dig a bit deeper.
How long does it really take to change a habit?
A study of the “European Journal of Social Psychology” that has been published, Philippa Lally and her team of University College London, showed how long it really takes to change a habit.
96 volunteers took part of this research for around 12 weeks, the majority of 82 volunteers provided sufficient data on how much it takes to automate a behaviour.
At the end of the 12 weeks the scientists examined, how long each participant had to automate a certain behaviour of their choice.
And what did they find out in the end?
It takes aproximately 2 months, until a behaviour is automated and a habit is implemented
The study showed, that you can skip a day whithout losing to follow the process of changing a habit.
But you should not skip more than 1 day to not to lose the momentum and exposing yourself in too many excuses for the days to follow.
I would recommend the following in order to be successful in your plans:
Take small steps daily, you can motivate yourself better if you take let’s say a 5 minute meditation twice a day or even once a day and increase these 5 minutes slowly. Or you start your training twice a day in small doses than to start with a 1 hour training right away.
Your body will thank you, why? Because your brain can form from repetitions. This means by repeating what you want to change in your life, your brain will form connections which will help you being successful much easier. And you are getting used to it better.
Again, to repeat how you can reach your goals as easy as pie:
- Repeat – repeat your new habit even a few times a day
- Small steps – start with small steps and don’t try to move a mountain in one day, the world hasn’t been created in one day too.
- Stay tuned! – never miss more than 1 day
- Motivate yourself! – speak affirmations, paint an image, make a collage, tell your friends and family
- Think of the glass half full – say to yourself how fast 2 months can go by and look at what you can achieve, look at it as if you have achieved it already! Speak like that, make it a reality.
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