Hey old friend! So good to see you again! Over the past couple of months I took a mental break from updating this website and it was pretty great. I would see an article, click on a link, or wrap myself in a conversation that made me go “oh boy, that would be great for a post!”, but, with a busy year-end quarter at work and my own personal enjoyment of binge-watching all of Gilmore Girls, I’m cool with the hiatus, and I hope you are, too.
With the personal time away, I figured the best post to come back with would be talking about habits, making them, breaking them, keeping them, ignoring them, etc! Did you think this was going to be a New Years Resolution post? Well, it isn’t. I mean, if your resolution was to build good habits, then, um, here! I wrote you a New Years Resolution post! If your resolutions do not exist or are mostly about your singing career, then, here! I wrote you a post about habit-making and habit-breaking!
There’s been more than a few articles written on how long it takes to build a habit. (See below) Unfortunately, the 21-day and 30-day are both myths. It can take anywhere from two to eight months to build a habit, depending on the complexity and the person. Some of us are more prone to building habits, and some of us are like “you can’t tell me what to do authority of my own mind!” Standing on one foot while you’re flossing to increase balance versus running a 10k every morning may result in different effects. FYI flossing one-footed is much trickier in the morning and after a boozy dinner.
So. Eight months. Are you eyeing your skinny jeans with sadness? Well, the internet has given some advice which I’ll share below. Besides, skinny jeans should always have stretch, and, if you’re looking for workout advice, pinterest frequently tells me that I could lose 20 pounds with 10 minutes of exercise a day, and all the Victoria’s Secret models do it, so it must work.
- Just making the choice and decision to create a habit is your first step. Well done!
- Understanding the change that you want to make and why will help you stick to your habit. Consider how difficult the habit is (are you planning to climb a mountain or quit smoking?) and take time to decide what stopped you before from building this habit. If it’s a new habit, give yourself a timeline, pending how long you think it will take and allowing for more time.
- Try writing it down, telling a friend, or secretly keeping it locked away in your brain bank.
- Add monthly reminders in your calendar to reward yourself for a habit well done.
- If you miss a day or two, be cool with it, just use it as an opportunity to refocus and examine why you missed some time! Maybe you should cut that 10k to a 5k for six months and then build up to a 10k?
After the decision is made to create a habit, it’s all about encouraging the change and allowing yourself mistakes. If you skip three days of 10-minute meditation, don’t worry about it! You have so many future days left to meditate that the lost 30 minutes will feel like a half-finished Gilmore Girls episode – preposterous and easily remedied. William James may disagree, but I’m a firm believer in being kind to yourself. So go ahead, watch television before bed, just don’t make it a habit.