It can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days to form a new habit according to research published in European Journal of Social Psychology in 2010.
The researchers also found that missing the odd opportunity to perform the behaviour may not materially affect the habit formation process.
By stating that it takes only 21 or 30 days to create lasting change, motivational speakers and coaches may do us a disservice. So persevere, even if you mess up every now and then.
Following are my top 3 simple daily habits to consider for 2017.
#1 Keep a gratitude journal
Write down 3 to 5 things you are grateful for either first thing in the morning or just before bedtime. At these times the brain is more receptive to re-programming. That which you focus on becomes more apparent as time progresses. Eventually, the glass will appear half-full habitually.
#2 Avoid prolonged sitting
Sitting is the new smoking. We’re paying a huge price for our sedentary behaviour. An hour at the gym will not compensate for prolonged sitting. Research shows that lack of physical activity increases the risk of many adverse health conditions, including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancers, and shortens life expectancy. Stand from a sitting position every half hour throughout the day.
#3 Eat mindfully
Sit at the table away from distraction. Appreciate the nourishment you are about to receive. Chew every bite mindfully. Choose local, sustainably produced food more often to help adapt to the local environment. Not only will eating mindfully improve digestive health, but it will also energize.
The body has an incredible capacity to heal itself. Re-wiring the brain to look for what’s right by keeping a gratitude journal, moving throughout the day and eating mindfully, will dramatically improve quality of life.