“First we form habits, then they form us. ” – Rob Gilbert
It’s been said that it takes 21 days to form a habit.
The human brain is a highly adaptive piece of machinery. If you repeat a habit often enough, certain synaptic pathways will get programmed into your brain. Since this stuff IS being programmed in our brains, it’s important to be sure that we are forming positive habits that are going to benefit us both now & later on down the road, rather than bad ones that will lead us further and further away from our goals.
Personally, when I hear this quote, I relate it directly to diet & exercise although it could easily be related to any situation. Positive exercise and nutrition related habits we pick up, form us, just as negative exercise & nutrition related habits form us. These habits can form us physically (our appearance), as well as mentally (how we think).
So how do we become successful at forming habits so that they can form us for the better?
I’d suggest choosing 1 positive habit you’d like to change or 1 positive habit you’d like to instill. Don’t try to overload yourself with trying to change everything at once (unless you KNOW you are one of those persons who has no problem doing this). For most people, focusing on 1 thing at a time will tend to work & actually end up sticking long-term.
So there’s your challenge. Choose 1 bad habit that you want to/need to change (that you feel is stopping you from reaching your fitness goals) and start applying it today. This could be getting to the gym 5 times a week versus 4. It could be completely cutting out the 1 or 2 sodas you drink each day and replacing them with water or tea. Whatever it is, make sure it is very specific and easily defined. No gray areas allowed.
You’re only 21 days away from a new, positive habit that’s going to put you closer to your goals. Get after it! : )