Change a Habit in 28 Days
I will show you a simple, but incredibly powerful method of making permanent changes to your habits.
It is widely accepted by physiologists that generally it takes about 28 days to change a habit. This means that you must live consciously for 4 weeks, deliberately focusing on the changes that you wish to make. After the 4 weeks are up, the change is permanent. Great!
The change of habit can be anything from quitting eating chips, being more motivated, waking up earlier, or even being more generous. If you consciously and stubbornly do these things for 4 weeks, then it will become more automatic from then on. It really is that simple.
What puts most people off making changes in their lives is that they are afraid. Afraid that all this great effort must be sustained indefinitely, living a life of misery, and as soon as this effort slips, then all that work will be for nothing. This is not true, especially now. You now have a definite time period to aim for – 28 days. This helps remove a lot of the pressure, helping you feel more comfortable with the challenge.
Also you can still enjoy living life whilst challenging yourself. In fact life can be rather dull and pointless if there are no challenges. The 28 days will come and go regardless of whether or not you challenge yourself to make a change. Why not get something special out of them 4 weeks?
Think about some habit that you REALLY wish to change. It must be a habit that YOU wish to change, not one that only others want you to change. Close your eyes and think about a habit that you really want to change. It can be any habit at all.
Now think about how your life will change for the better now that you have changed this habit now…
We all want to improve our lives, and we all want the best for ourselves yes? Well you can enjoy this success straight away. Make the decision. Do you want that change right now – yes or no?
If yes, then congratulations on making this brave decision. Take action right now. Note what the date is today, and what the date will be in 28 days time. Record this everywhere you can. In diaries’, calendars, on a piece of paper on your wall, everywhere. This will serve as a reminder that you are working on a change.
Now be brave and be stubborn. For 28 days you will work hard on making this change. Face it head on. Accept any pain and discomfort, it’s only temporary. After 28 days one of two things can happen. You will either revert back to your former habits, or you will keep this change. If you do revert back to this old habit then you have lost nothing. In fact you are likely to have gained quite a lot. For example if you gave up smoking for 28 days, then you will have saved money and given your health a welcome boost. You are also likely to have learnt a lot about yourself in the process, which you can use to change other habits in the future.
If you make the change permanent, then even better. You have successfully invested 4 weeks of your time, which would have passed anyway, for something you can now benefit from every day for the rest of your life. That’s a pretty good deal.
If you don’t want to make this change right now ask yourself why not. Find the good reason why you should postpone or avoid this. If you don’t really ever want to make this change then that is fine. But think to yourself – Is there ever really a perfect time to make this change?
Yes it requires effort and yes there are no absolute guarantee of permanent results, but why not give it your best shot? There is nothing to lose. If you want your life to change for the better then you can’t wait for it to magically happen. You must make a conscious decision to change and stubbornly stick to it right now.
I assure you that for many this is actually easier than it sounds once you definitely make up your mind to change this habit. Don’t allow yourself any ifs or buts or grey areas. You must make the positive and definite decision to make this change for 4 weeks, no matter what. If you leave any areas for maneuver in your mind, then you will not stick to it. It’s no good saying to yourself “I will try for 2 days and see what happens’, or ‘I will stick to it unless I have a bad day at work’. With this mindset you are setting yourself up for failure.
So say to yourself that you will definitely make this change for 28 days. You will invest 28 days of effort to make this change. Leave no uncertainty in your mind. Promise yourself. Give yourself your word that you will make this change for 28 days. Right now say to yourself that you will commit yourself to 28 days of changing this habit no matter what.
If you do this, then you will have a far easier time of it than you perhaps think. Your mind will not be looking for a way out as you are totally committed. This actually removes a lot of the struggle. You have nothing to struggle against as you have set a clear goal cannot fight against with grey areas.
You will quickly learn to live with this change, and your life will be greatly enhanced because of it. You may also learn to actually enjoy the challenge, ticking off one day at a time, moving closer and closer to your goal. Very soon living with this change will be your normal default way of life – it’s remarkable how quickly we humans adapt to change.
So march forward with courage and commitment and work towards an improved lifestyle and the things you really want from life.Go on, you deserve it!
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Jon Rhodes was trained professionally at the London College Of Clinical Hypnotherapy in 2003.
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