Did you know that it takes only 21 days to make a new habit?
Most people who have quit smoking know that those first 21 days are possibly the hardest, BUT if they can just keep focused on their goal of better health and living a smoke-free life, they’ll have broken one of the most difficult additions we know of.
It’s how your brain works and, yes, it’s a rule. In fact it’s such a powerful rule, that I recommend you start using it today. The patterns we repeat consistently (over a 21 day period) become neurological programs that we then run on a daily basis. You are writing programs all the time, you just may be unconscious of this process. Today, I’m giving you the instruction manual to start writing better programs.
Following the rule of 21, Andrew and I have built some incredible and healthy habits that have turned into the healthy lifestyle we now enjoy every day. One of our “21 day rules” even kept our marriage strong when we needed to live apart for nearly 2 years. The rule was that we never went more than 21 days without seeing each other. We made the rule because we didn’t want to ‘program in’ a life without each other present. And, because it was a rule, we made it happen and we both know that it was a huge factor in creating the strong marriage we have today.
Making rules often seems like it will create limitations but you’ll find the opposite is true. What are your rules? We just passed the first 21 day mark of 2011. Are you still focused on your New Year’s Resolutions? If not, revisit them. Do you still value them or do they require some editing or deleting?
Great rewards sometimes require great sacrifice. Here’s a list of some habits to do for 21 days that offer some surprisingly HUGE benefits. Whatever you decide to do for the next 21 days, make sure it feels right for you and if you miss a day, you need to start back at day 1; it’s called the 21 Day RULE for a reason. When you get to day 21, congratulate yourself and move on to the next one.
Drink 8 ounces of water every day for 21 days
Eat breakfast every day for 21 days
Stop snacking within 2 hours of bedtime every day for 21 days
Do spinal warm-up exercises every day for 21 days
Go for a walk, do push-ups, or any exercise you chose every day for 21 days
Eat a salad with dinner every day for 21 days
Repeat a positive statement about yourself every day for 21 days
Do 5-10 minutes of deep breathing exercises every day for 21 days
Visualize your DREAM life for a few minutes every day for 21 days
Meditate for ANY amount of time every day for 21 days
Anything you choose….. every day for 21 days
The funny thing is, 21 days starts to fly past you and you’ll realize that this is easy. Just focus on choosing habits that you really want to commit to.
After all, it’s your life, LOVE it!
Dr. Liisa Hall