We KNOW. Forming a habit can be extremely difficult, frustrating, and sometimes seemingly impossible? The good news: you don’t need superpowers to change or form a habit! Anyone can do it. There is a LOT of research and articles on habit forming, so below we wanted to myth-bust and share some things you may not know about the process!
Yes, habits = energy! Mind. Blown. By conditioning your brain to identify certain actions or processes, (such as a habit), it requires less effort to complete them. Your brain is a muscle, so when it is trained consistently to get accustomed to a new habit, it becomes easier each time. The less effort you have to put into a task, whether it’s brushing your teeth or starting a new fitness regimen, the more energy you save, helping you tackle other things on your to do list!
We’ve all read hacks and specific days/hours of how long it takes to form a habit. Here’s a myth bust for ya: everyone is different! Depending on your lifestyle and the degree of the habit, some may be easier to form than others. Instead of focusing on the timeline, put your energy into completing the habit itself and you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
Linking your new habit to one that you already have established, helps ease your brain into recognizing its role in your life. It’s called habit stacking! For example, if you have a tricky time remembering to take your gummy vitamins, pair it with a similar daily habit that it could work alongside, such as your morning coffee or tea. Because they have similar qualities, i.e. taken in the morning as an oral enhancer for your body, it makes it easier to ingrain in your routine.
When your brain has a positive association to something it naturally makes it easier to adopt a new activity in your life! Yup, we’re referencing Pavolvian theory here. If you’re trying to be more active, create a playlist of your favorite songs and move to it. The positive feelings you get from the tune help your brain recognize this new habit as a beneficial thing that it’ll want to retain.
Instead of tossing a new habit around in your head, try incorporating it with a movement! For example, if you are going to workout, the physical movement of moving your arm to grab your workout outfit will eventually become “habitual”. If a habit you are trying to form is not particularly physical, you can still create a physical movement to take. Writing your to do list for the day can include you grabbing a specific pen with a specific notepad!
We love this image by habit author and expert: James Clear
Bottom line: everyone’s journey is different - so please take the pressure off yourself and stop comparing yourself to anyone else’s process.
Photo Credit: Pexels Images