I’m sure I am not the only person who has set out to build new habits. I certainly am not the only one to has given up after only a few weeks. I bet everyone starts out the same, with all the energy and desire to see their goals through to the end. Everyone probably starts out fully motivated. Wakes up the first few morning eager to begin a new day being their new selves. As time passes those feeling of power and will begin to fade. I don’t know how long it takes for you but I’ve notices in my own personal experience that it takes me about three weeks (I know, pathetic). The deterioration of the mindset I had set out to make into is almost complete. That is when the questioning begins, and the self doubt, not to mention the increasing strength of giving up. The excuses and justifications start saying things like “Ive been good this past few weeks, its okay if I cheat a little today” or things like “Why am I even doing this?” and my favorite “I really, really, with every cell in my body, really do not feel like doing this today”.
Assuming that somehow you kept pushing past that moment of giving up, or refrained from ignoring that part of yourself that nudges you to keep at it. The battle is not yet won, you may begin to do your old habits on top of your new habits. This is a key moment. At some point one of them is going to give. The habit that you feed the most will be the one that survives. Remember the goal is to completely replace the old habits with the new ones. Which means that so long as you keep doing the good habit and avoiding the bad habit, eventually the good will outweigh the bad. So don’t throw in the towel the moment you give into a habit you’re trying to stop. It helps to remember that your in it for the long run. This is not a two month, three month thing. This a new lifestyle, a completely different way of living your life. It is important to keep in mind that those moments of failure are part of it, and that the endeavor that you embarked on is not an easy one. You made a decision to change your life, and that’s going to take patience. It’s going time, just remember to stay on one habit until it’s completely automatic, or very well close. That is when you can pick another good habit to replace another bad habit, and so forth until little by little your life begins to take the shape you want it to.
From one of my previous post, I was replacing my bad morning habits for good morning habits. Thus far Ive stayed true but I’m at the end of my third week, and I did feel those things, and I did want to throw in the towel. Fortunately I know that I must keep at it. What helped me was getting a calendar. I cannot stress it enough how important it is to keep track of yourself. The mind is dramatic, you feel like something has taken hours when it’s only been a few minutes. That is when a calendar is a lifesaver. I was able to see that I was on my third week. I realized successful people stay doing grueling work for years before they reach their goal. I was able to see clearly that I was being a baby, and I needed to thicken my skin a little more, accept my reality and keep going. I knew, I must stick true to doing the good habits. Keep it going and not break the streak. Remember that the streak is to keep doing the good habit, so doing the bad habit is not breaking the streak. Only if you choose to let the bad habit keep you from doing the good habit. If you stick to it eventually the good habit will make you strong enough to resist the bad habit.
I’ll leave you with this: Don’t cling to the detrimental habits like its a bad thing that your losing them. The best thing that can happen to you, is losing those habits. So be happy to let go of them, and begin to accept the new habits. Its important for you to do that, otherwise you’re always going to sabotage yourself, because part of you doesn’t really want to let go. Learn to accept your reality and enjoy the process.