How can we incorporate a habit into our repertoire of conduct? How long can we do it naturally? Can all actions be acquired as habit and with the same duration of practice? In this article, we raise all these doubts in order to understand what we really need to create a habit.
We all want to incorporate into our daily routine routines allowing us to lead a healthier life. Examples could include quitting, eating well, exercising regularly, and so on. Why are we all doing this? Moreover in many cases, we lose motivation after a few days and we leave our attempt aside.
To have a new habit means to make efforts. This involves adapting our pace of life and our body to new routines that were previously unknown. For this reason, the keys to creating a habit would be consistency and perseverance. These qualities will constantly confront the desire to give up.
Once the incorporation of behavior into our usual repertoire is successful, it is easier to make the habit and even to achieve it in a natural way. The first step would be to know what we want to do. If it is a desire for which we feel motivated, the first step will be much simpler to give.
"The difference between the possible and the impossible lies in determination."
How long can we create a habit?
In 1960, plastic surgeon Maxwell Maltz has defined the time needed to create a 21-day habit. Later, it was discovered that neurons are not able to fully assimilate behavior in such a short time and that by only 21 days, we run the risk of giving up prematurely.
"Brain plasticity has proven that the brain is a flexible sponge and that we are constantly reconfiguring our brain map."
In subsequent studies conducted by University College London, it was found that on average we really need 66 days to incorporate new conduct into our routine and to maintain it. It has also been discovered that leaving aside driving for a day is not detrimental to the long-term goal.
Creating a habit makes the routine practice necessary at the beginning (consistency / frequency) to push the processes of the habit to automate and to have less effort to do. The practice time will vary depending on the behavior we want to adopt and the familiarity that this behavior implies in us. Acquiring a habit away from our normal routine certainly requires more time and practice than acquiring a close and simple habit.
What ingredients help maintain a habit?
The first thing we need to do is generate an action plan. This means thinking about short, medium and long term goals. These will allow us to get involved in the change and persevere in seeing that we reach them. The plan should also include the definition of the time of day during which the desired habit is to be achieved. Well-defined and organized plans make it much easier to follow up.
Why do we want to have this habit? Drawing our future by identifying the benefits of this new leadership will allow us to continue to be motivated and not to lose the illusion that has allowed us to decide. Keeping track of these goals makes daily practice easier.
We must not allow ourselves to be defeated by self-procrastination. We must not push back to the next day what we are able to start the same day. The sooner you start, the sooner you will achieve what you want. Creating a habit requires some discipline and constant work. We need to know how to overcome that if we really want to achieve our goals and are passionate about what we can get. Forward to your new habits!