Habit Change Challenge

 We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. ~ Aristotle

Motivation is what gets you started.  Habit is what keeps you going.  ~Jim Ryun

A habit is something you can do without thinking – which is why most of us have so many of them.  ~Frank A. Clark

The unfortunate thing about this world is that good habits are so much easier to give up than bad ones.  ~Somerset Maugham

I have heard so much about the notion that it takes 21 days to change a habit, that I just thought of this as fact. As I was getting ready to write this, I discovered the that notion of the 21-day habit change theory only goes back to one primary source, Dr. Maxwell Maltz’s book titled, ”Psycho-Cybernetics”. One source is hardly hard science. However, committing to 21 days of working on a habit can at the very least develop a pattern.

Alcoholics Anonymous has been working on helping people change destructive habits one day at a time. When we focus on making a commitment on a daily basis, we can focus on the moment and we reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed by our goal.

Whether it is 21 days in a row or just a day at a time, I had the following suggestions of some positive habits to try on:

  • –       Meditate, pray or find some quiet time for yourself for one minute or more per day.
  • –       Exercise for at least 10 minutes per day
  • –       Create a journal with at least one item of gratitude per day
  • –       Create a journal with at least one item of Success per day.

Of course these four items could be expanded. I am all for more exercise, more meditation, more success and more gratitude. In fact, you could add more habits such as getting adequate sleep and eating right. Sometimes it is good to start with sustainable habits to get the momentum going.

Want to join me for 21 days?


7 Responses to “Habit Change Challenge”

  1. That’s great insight on information with only one source. It’s a well known source, but i like what you had to say about it. When are you starting you 21 day journey?

  2. http://www.thetruthsoflife.com/rewiringneuralpathways.html – link to an interesting article about changing our brains through changing our thoughts and this can relate to habits. I was a “friend of Bill” for a time and learned a lot of valuable lessons and really enjoyed the support of the other members. If you want to change and you really believe it and act as if – you can change. You don’t have to wait until you reach your “bottom” to change.

    • Thank you very much for your comment and this link. I have to admit that I “ran out of steam when writing”. I had so much to say about common daily practices that can help, but I got side tracked once I found out the 21 day rule had limited evidence. In terms of change I think it comes to 1) Taking full responsibility of your perception 2) determining if you beliefs serve you 3) foster habits that reinforce “positive beliefs” 4) take consistent action towards your goals.

  3. HI, Dr. Maltz’s book is a classic, Habits, be they thought habit patterns or others, can be changed once we decide we truly desire to change them and alter the way we relate to self and the world around us. You have written and short and powerful post. Thank you! Keep up the great work! Jay


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