The time it takes to break a bad habit can be argued but the most popular answer would be 21 Days!
In saying this, some say it can take up to 66 days. I honestly don’t know if there is a definitive answer or magic number. What I’ve learnt after years of helping people get amazing results is that changing habits takes time but if you put your mind to something, within just a few weeks you can be back into a routine and on your way to embedding some great new habits.
I’ve also learnt that there are certain variables that will increase your chances of truly breaking those bad habits for good.
NUMBER 1 –
Don’t pick too many habits to change at once. I’d suggest just 1 or 2 habits is enough! Working on one habit at a time will get optimal results, then when you’ve mastered this habit you can move on to a new one.
Quite often people will try and change EVERYTHING at once. They go from eating chocolate, drinking alcohol every day and doing no exercise and overnight expect to change into a clean eating, exercise machine. The reality is that if you do this, you are setting yourself up for failure. Look at your lifestyle and pick one or two habits that are holding you back the most and work on those first.
It might seem slow but how many years have you been dieting now?
Imagine if you’d just focused on improving one habit a time. Where would you be now?
No more diets and FEELING AWESOME.
NUMBER 2 –
Your mindset! Do you REALLY, REALLY want to change? Or are you subconsciously hanging on to this bad habit as it helps to justify why you can’t change?
Have you ever noticed when you start to make some awesome changes you sabotage yourself? You go back to your bad habits and stop yourself from moving forward. Yep, it happens to all of us. It comes down to your mindset and self-concept. If you don’t believe you CAN change then subconsciously you will do everything in your power to keep yourself there.
So when you’re 3 weeks into your new program and starting to feel pretty good, this is when we need to ingrain these new habits even more. It’s when we rely on our mindset to keep us on path and constantly remind ourselves WE CAN CHANGE, we are that fit and healthy person we strive to be.
If you’ve been struggling to break the sugar cravings, nightly drinks or doing no exercise, maybe it’s time to set some mini goals. Make your goal realistic and achievable. It might just be to limit your treats to twice a week or to add in 3 exercise sessions for the next 21 days. Setting small, achievable goals doesn’t seem as daunting and setting a shorter time frame to aim for makes it far more achievable.
This is why I run the 21 Day Challenge. It’s not about trying to lose 10kg in 21 days but instead it’s about committing to changing a habit or two for 21 days and PROVING TO YOURSELF YOU CAN DO IT!
I know this year I have been struggling with including more sugar than normal. As my workload and stress has increased so has my cravings towards sugar. So my goal for the next round of the 21 day challenge is simple. Get back to including a controlled sugar treat just once or twice a week, not daily. I’m not going to aim to cut it out completely as I believe total elimination sets us up to crave it even more, but instead get back to a more balanced level where I’m not reaching for it every day. This goal seems manageable for me and I know I’ll actually lose a few cm in the process.
Rather than think about the weight you want to lose, think about WHAT YOU NEED TO CHANGE to help your body naturally get rid of that extra weight. Weight doesn’t just creep on…. It’s our habits that make it happen. So the first step is to acknowledge what you need to change and work on one habit at a time.
Just imagine how amazing it will feel when you don’t have to diet anymore and have the energy and body you’ve been striving for!!!
Join me for the next round of the 21 Day Challenge. Kicking off on Monday 24th. Just a few spots left.
Have a great weekend.
P.S if you want a good book to really work on your self-image check out Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz!