Craig Groeschel says “the habits you have today will shape who you become tomorrow”. With New Years having just beckoned us into a new year, forcing us to reflect on the past year, I think we all relate to wanting to create and maintain good habits.
Habits are an important aspect of our daily lives, as they help us to establish a routine and make our actions automatic. Habits allow us to conserve mental energy and make it easier for us to achieve our goals. However, it can be difficult to form habits that will last, especially if they require a significant change in our behavior. Let’s discuss some strategies for forming habits that will last, and why habits are important for relationships.
Research has shown that it takes approximately 66 days to form a new habit. This can vary depending on the individual and the complexity of the habit, but on average it takes about two months of consistent effort to turn a new behavior into a habit.
Make it EASY
One way to increase the chances of forming a new habit is to make it as easy as possible to perform the desired behavior. This might involve setting up a specific cue or trigger that reminds you to perform the habit, or finding a way to make the habit more convenient. For instance, if you want to take 4 fifteen minute walks throughout the day, set a recurring reminder at the desired times on your phone so that every day you are reminded to go on that walk.
Have a WHY
Another important factor in forming habits is to have a clear motivation or purpose behind the habit. When we understand the reason why we want to form a certain habit, it can be easier to stay motivated and consistent in our efforts. It can also be helpful to have a support system in place, whether that be friends, family, or a professional coach, to help us stay on track and accountable.
Forming habits that will last takes time, effort, and a clear motivation. By making the desired behavior easy to perform, finding support, and understanding the purpose behind the habit, we can increase our chances of success. Habits can have a significant impact on our relationships, both positive and negative, so it is important to be mindful of the habits we choose to cultivate.
Lally, P., van Jaarsveld, C. H. M., Potts, H. W., & Wardle, J. (2010). How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40(6), 998-1009.
Duhigg, C. (2012). The power of habit: Why we do what we do in life and business. New York: Random House.