Just 30 Days To Positive Habits
Discover the smart path: 30 days to positive habits
Establishing positive habits is easier than you think. You only need the right tools to go about it.
You may have tried to create a positive habit in the past unsuccessfully. That is because, as with most of New Year's resolutions, we do not define them clearly:
- we try to embrace too much: "I want to build a profitable business in a month".
- we have vague goals: "I want to be fit". What does 'fit' mean for you? To be able to swim a mile in a minute?
- we don't have a plan: "I will have a million dollars in a year". Exactly how will you achieve that?
- we don't have a timescale: "I will buy a house". By when?
The key to creating positive habits and to reach any goal is to create SMART goals combined with a 30-day plan.
Of course a certain goal may require much more than 30 days to be accomplished, but it is more manageable if broken in 30-day chunks.
You could also start with a 30-day plan to map out how you'll accomplish a larger task overtime.
30 days vs. 21 days
You can find in many books that you only need 21 days to create a habit. While this is true, I've personally found that 30 days to positive habits work better for a number of reasons:
- 30 days are almost a third more time than 21 days. This permits the new behaviour pattern to settle better.
- 30 days allow for a day "off", whether to rest or because unforeseen circumstances prevent you from doing the action of the habit on a certain day.
For example, you may receive an unexpected visit or have to stay longer at the office and thus miss your daily hour of meditation; or you may be too tired and need a rest from exercising daily.
- While 21 days are sufficient to create a good habit, you need to be 'on the ball' 21 days in a row without missing one, and that creates a kind of mental pressure.
30 days to positive habits are the perfect measure to be consistent and relaxed about it at the same time.
I have discovered that a 30-day plan works better for me than a 21-day one. I recommend you follow the one you find more suitable for yourself.
30 days to positive habits
I tried to create the positive habit of exercising several times over the years unsuccessfully, until I followed the SMART way to making goals combined with a 30-day plan.
For your guidance, I describe here how I experienced my 30 days to positive habits.
You may find your experience is different, so I intend that mine serves you as a reference only.
Having created many different positive habits using SMART goals on 30-day plans, I can tell you these methods work.
I'll take the example of exercising daily to describe a normal cycle of 30 days to positive habits:
- The first, second and third days are normally filled with enthusiasm and a strong will of exercising as planned. Targets are easily achieved.
- Between days 5 and 8 it feels a bit of a stage of recession and steadiness at the same time: I'm exercising, but I don't see anything happening.
- By day 15 I've taken one or two days "off" allowing for rest. I am halfway my goal and I am proud that I've exercised daily for two weeks already. It is much easier than I thought.
- Around day 20 I start seeing things happening: I am noticeable more flexible and fitter than twenty days ago. This is motivating, as I see that the effort I've put in is paying off.
- By day 25 I've rested one or two more days at some point. I now trust myself in that I can exercise daily if I like - it does not feel a chore anymore, but rather an action of will.
- By day 30 I am really proud of myself because I have kept the commitment I made with myself of exercising daily for 30 days. Besides, I have easily built the habit of exercising daily and I now feel like I want to exercise daily, rather than I have to do it.
You will find that you have much more self-confidence after you have accomplished a goal following the SMART way to make goals in a 30-day or 21-day cycle. This allows you to now choose a slightly bigger goal with the confidence that you can accomplish it easily.
"Most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year
and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade."
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