How Long Does It Take to Make Something a Habit?

Can you think about the inevitable New Years Resolutions that are developed and practiced every January for two, maybe three weeks before falling by the wayside? Why do you think these changes don’t ever seem to last? Most of the time it is because they were unrealistic habits, not because the individual didn’t try hard enough. So how do you develop healthy and sustainable habits? Practice makes perfect, or rather, practice makes habit.

 

Vince Lombardi once said “Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.” The things you do every day, week after week, year after year are your habits. They can be good and bad habits and you have the power to alter this whenever you choose. But don't think it's as easy as just deciding to do it for a few weeks.

 

A common question when trying to implement a new lifestyle change is “how long do I have to do this for until it becomes a habit?” When you ask yourself this, the mentality behind this new change is all wrong. That question really breaks down to the thought of “how long do I have to work for?”. If this is your way of approaching a lifestyle change, it can almost be guaranteed that it won’t last very long once you get there. Making an action stick for the long term takes commitment and dedication. Do you want to lose 10 lbs and keep it off? Keep working once you get there. Are you hoping to get your kids to try a new vegetable and like it? Introduce it 20 times and then incorporate it into the weekly dinner plans. It may get easier as you go but you can’t stop going.

 

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle isn’t about “will power,” but continuously working to keep up with your habits over a long period of time. You can do it.


This page was printed from the BMI Medical website: http://bmimedical.ca/