What is the time period in which we can successfully develop a new habit?
The answer is anywhere between a split second to several years. Honestly, that’s because for good habits to form one must be intensely determined in their decision and follow through with their actions.
Many people make resolutions, think of joining a gym or follow blogs in a bid to lose weight and be physically fit. But all this is a passive effort, till one day, a doctor says, “If you don’t work on your weight, you’re in danger of getting a heart attack.”
Suddenly, they spring into action as the mere thought of dying can be so very frightening. The individual changes their diet, starts exercising, quits smoking, etc.
In effect, a powerful emotional experience, in combination with a behavior, can cause a habit to form that will endure permanently. Experts say that habit formation follows a cycle of 21 days with repeated practice.
If you’d like to develop the habits of successful people to attract success and wealth in your life, here is a 7-step program to get you on your journey.
Make a firm decision about changing your actions and behavior accordingly to achieve your goal. For example, if you decide to wake up earlier than usual to practice yoga, set an alarm and get up immediately, put your yoga gear on and begin your session.
Don’t accept exceptions
Early on, you may be tempted to allow for one exception in your new habit pattern. Don’t let go by making excuses or justifications. If you resolve to spend 20 minutes doing yoga each morning, discipline yourself to do so till it becomes effortless.
Spread the word
Tell your friends and well-wishers that you are trying to practice a new behavior. If you know that others are watching you to see if you can hold on to your new behavior, you may surprise yourself by having more discipline and determination than usual.
Visualize yourself as acting as if you have already acquired the new habit. The power of visualization is the secret sauce behind the daily habits of successful people.
Make an affirmation
Create a mantra or an affirmation that you can repeat to yourself. The constant repetition firmly grounds the new habit into your psyche and speeds up the habit-forming process.
Persistence is key
Resolve to yourself to keep at it until it becomes a part of your everyday life. Stay strong about your decision and you will reach a point when you will feel uncomfortable if you don’t carry out your new behavior.
Be proud of yourself and give yourself a reward for practicing the new behavior even when it’s difficult. With each reward, you will be reinforcing the behavior at a deeper, subconscious level. The pleasure of the reward will keep you engaged in your new behavior.