Resolutions and Habits

Resolutions and Habits Blog Cover

Resolutions and Habits

Did you know that by the time you’re reading this over 85% of all New Year’s resolutions will have been broken? We all start out the year wanting to make changes, to improve ourselves, yet we always seem to fall back into our old habits.

There’s something called “habit gravity” that keeps us stuck whenever we try to establish a new routine. Let me explain it this way. You’ve probably seen a rocket take off or watched footage of the space shuttle launching. Have you ever noticed that the main part of the rocket seems to fall off after the liftoff? That’s where 80% of the fuel is used up. It takes that much fuel to get the rocket out of the earth’s atmosphere and break through gravity.

This is similar to our own habit patterns. It takes a huge amount of willpower to start a new habit, and once we get things moving, we have to work harder for the old habits to actually not pull us back. Eventually, we break free of “habit gravity” after some time working on the new routine.

There is some conflict with regards to how long it takes to establish a new habit. Some say 21 days, others say 30, and I’ve heard even 100 days. Personally, I believe that it’s about three months; however, if you stick with something for at least 30 days, it becomes easier to make that habit stick.

There’s one more important thing to note. It’s much easier if you work on new habits one at a time. For example, if you decide you’re going to start a new exercise routine, don’t try doing too much or go from no exercising to going to the gym for an hour a day. Start with smaller increments.

If you haven’t exercised, maybe start at home, or start by going to the gym for twenty minutes, three days a week. You can increase it as the habit gravity wears off.  The most important thing is that you do what you know you will do. Setting the bar too high is a sure-fire way to set yourself up to fail.

Finally, if you slip up and miss a day, don’t sweat it. Just get back on track. Most people beat themselves up over the small slip ups and this makes it harder to get back on track. If you miss one day, two days, even a week, you can start over the next day. We reach our goals by making a commitment to one day at a time.

If you need help or would like someone to hold you accountable, reach out and let’s put a plan together. Like I always say, your greatest success can be right in front of you. Only you can decide to go for it!