A Two-week Challenge

10 05 2010

It only takes about a month to gain a new habit. Seriously. And honestly, it doesn’t even matter if you fail a few times (ahem, a lot)┬áduring that month. But even that month depends on the first two weeks. So really, it takes about 2 weeks to kick off a new habit (or stop one).

For example: You want to go to the gym four times a week. That’s a good number, gives you some room for missing out. Or eat more vegetables. Or pray daily. Or write a journal / blog. Or not smoke.

All you have to do is: (1) make a commitment to just 1 week and (2) connect it to a “trigger” action.

(1) A week is short and definable, it’s easy to see the end of it. If you “really want” to do something, you can usually use that to get through the first week.

(2) Find a realistic time to put it in your schedule. Waking up an hour early to do it probably won’t work. But going to the gym after work, or praying between brushing your teeth and going to bed – those are reasonable. Smokers – a little trickier as there is a chemical addiction, but deal with the physical habit. Try chewing gum. Take a smoking break like before, take a long stick of gum, and chew it slowly, by biting off small bits. In other words, make it as similar to smoking as possible. Try to connect it to your real schedule so that something you already do will “trigger” the newest habit.