New Year, New Habits
It’s a new year, so you know what that means; time to make #resolutions. Many of us start the year with a #goal and a genuine intention of achieving it but it gets harder and harder to stay #consistent to see #results. Before long, we all give up on our new year’s resolutions and go back to our old habits. So, what can we do to achieve our goals? It all starts with forming a new #habit and making small changes every day that help us get closer to seeing results.
A habit is defined as a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to change. A habit is made because our brains form neural pathways that get stronger as we perform a certain task. When we do this behavior enough times, we no longer think about how it’s done, it’s automatic. On average, it takes us about 66 days to form a habit. It could take more or fewer days, depending on what your new behavior is.
So how do we break old habits or start new ones? According to Dr. Nora Volkow, we must first become aware of our habits so we can develop strategies to change them. She suggests identifying certain places, people, to activities that link your mind to certain habits. For example, if you have a habit of stopping at your favorite fast-food chain after work, one way to change that habit is to drive an alternate route so you cannot be tempted to stop and grab your favorite $1 menu item. She also suggests replacing a bad habit with a good habit. Another example would be to swap the chips you eat while binge watching a new TV series for unsalted, unbuttered popcorn. There are many small changes that we all can make that will help us form better habits and help change our lifestyles.
So how do we do it? How do we form better habits so we can achieve our new year’s resolutions? There are many steps you can take to change or create a new habit. Some of the most helpful ways to create a change are to create a plan to succeed, find a support system, know the challenges you’ll face, and be positive throughout the process. It takes practice to form a habit but the best way to change your behavior is to start. Start making those small changes and start reaching out to those family members and friends who will help you accomplish your goals. Before you know it, those small changes will help you get closer to achieving your goal and new healthy habits will form.
Frothingham, S. (2019, October 24). How Long Does It Take for a New Behavior to Become Automatic? Healthline. ,https://www.healthline.com/health/how-long-does-it-take-to-form-a-habit#takeaway
Connected, S. (2021, April 4). How Habits Are Formed. Science Connected Magazine. ,https://magazine.scienceconnected.org/2018/09/how-habits-are-formed/#:%7E:text=Our%20brains%20form%20neural%20pathways,when%20it%20becomes%20a%20habit.
15 Key Tips to Develop Good Habits That Work. (2020, January 1). Week Plan. ,https://weekplan.net/tips-to-develop-good-habits