Habits don’t just pop into our lives accidentally. You weren’t walking along one day when a big pile of habit was unseen and accidentally stepped in. Actually, by its very definition, a habit is an acquired pattern of behavior that often occurs automatically after time. Well, that’s great news if the habit happens to be a good one! A habit of being punctual or being generous or selfless isn’t necessarily one that needs tweaking. But what about those nasty, little bad habits we add to our repertoire?
It’s generally agreed that a new habit needs 21-30 days of consistent, no miss, no excuse performance in order to become ingrained into your lifestyle. That’s at a minimum, in my opinion. In fact, I’m a little on the stubborn side so what might take 30 days for you will probably take me 60…let’s blame it on the Irish DNA.
In the last few months, on the advise of people far smarter than myself, I’ve been challenged to tweak my “acquired patterns of behavior” so that I can get the results I want in a particular area. Sounds easy enough, right? Day 1-7 were actually pretty easy ~ likened to a diet, for instance. You come out of the starting gate all fired up for change and then someone puts a piece of cheesecake in front of you… the familiar ring of “I could always start over next Monday” take root and…well, the rest is history.
How is it possible that I find myself failing at a 21-30 day assignment? Ugh. One word ~ complacency.
I get too darn comfy and the desire to replace a bad habit with a good one is outweighed by time constraints (huge excuse-there’s always time) and energy (also huge excuse-we’re adults. We need to find the motivation). Fear not, this is where my stubborn streak is going to kick into high gear and refuse to let me fail. If my accountability partner bails, so be it. This is a habit that is going to improve my life, right? Do I really need someone else to nudge me to stick with it?
Whatever that bad habit is in your life that needs tweaking, consider really beginning the process to extricate it and replace it with something better. Don’t wait until it’s convenient ~ and, by the way, where is that day named convenient anyway? ~ do it now.
Join me in making a little promise…. I’m going to begin today to change this automatic response that I, myself, introduced into my life long ago that has done nothing to make me a better person.
For those few of you who read my blog, I’ll share my goal and my progress along the way. It doesn’t even matter what the habit is that I’m going to break or what the habit is that I’m going to adopt; just know that I’m jumping in today and a little thing called life isn’t going to deter me or throw me off course. On your mark, get set…..GO.