On average, it takes around two months before a new behavior becomes a habit. Back in grad school, I figured out that between work and family commitments, the best time for me to read or write was early in the mornings. So, I gradually began to get up and go to bed earlier each day. I now regularly wake up early each morning, often before the alarm clock goes off, and tend to get more done before 9AM than many people do all day.
Make today the day you embrace a new healthy habit that has the power to change your life for the better. You could commit to weekly exercise, eating healthier, reading or writing for 20 min each and every day, reaching out to a valuable relationship every day, or meditating for 5 minutes every evening.
Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something doable. Setting big goals is exciting but can feel daunting, so taking baby steps can greatly increase your odds of success. If your goal is to run or meditate for an hour a day, for example, there will probably be many days when you don’t run or meditate at all. However, if you make walking around the block or one minute of mindful breathing your goal, you can certainly accomplish that.
As time goes by, you will feel proud that you’ve honored your commitment to yourself. And crucially, you will have created a new neural pathway in your brain that turns your daily walk or mindfulness meditation into a habit.
What one habit have you committed to recently? David Nour