So many of us wish that there were things we would do more consistently. Whether that’s exercising, meditating, cooking or spending time developing a new skill, it can feel very difficult to form a habit. It can even feel overwhelming at times, causing you to become paralysed by the thought of starting and resulting in procrastination. It’s well known that one of the most effective ways to increase productivity and reduce procrastination is to take things one small step at a time. What if it was possible to form a lasting habit in just three weeks? Turns out that’s actually all it takes for a behaviour to stick.
Our habits are part of who we are. Our repeated behaviours and ways of thinking shape our reality, even if unconsciously. This is all hardwired into our brains through the creation of neural pathways. The things we do have a lot of power over the way our brains operate. The ways in which we interact with our environment and the thoughts that we repeat to ourselves influence the ways in which electrical impulses fire across our synapses.
When we continuously repeat a behaviour, the associated synaptic pathway gets used to being accessed and activated. Our unhealthy habits are neurologically ingrained, but the good news is that it’s possible to rewire them. Not only is it possible to rewire our brains to quit our unhealthy habits, but we can actively form new neural pathways that will ensure the continuation of a new habit.
All you have to do is commit to something new for 21-days straight. You don’t have to commit to multiple hours a day – do however much is manageable for you so as to ensure that you’re actually enjoying yourself. If you don’t like what you’re doing you’re highly unlikely to quit. This process may be difficult at first, but it’s important that you stay motivated. If you find yourself exasperated at the thought of doing whatever it is you’re trying to do, think of the end goal. Think of how accomplished you’ll feel once it’s done, and remember that starting is the hardest part. Once you’ve begun, you’ll more than likely find that you’re really enjoying yourself!
Even committing for 5,10,15 or 20 minutes a day will make a world of difference. Once you’ve successfully completed your 21-days try persisting for a further 90 days and after that push through to commit to a full 6-months to really cement those neural pathways and get them used to firing on a daily basis. You’re far more resilient than you think, so stick with it! You’ll thank yourself later and learn to appreciate the power of your mind.Fit50 Survey