Creating Positive Habits

Did you know it takes 30 days to make something a habit?

In January, you may hear this touted quite often. It’s how long it takes to create a gym habit. It’s how long it takes to stop eating after 8 p.m.

What habits do you need to make or break?

3-A Week Card

Creating a habit takes 30 days. An incentive helps. (Photo by Cynthia Price)

I’m still working on creating a workout habit. It’s going to be a bit easier now because I’ve enlisted reinforcement. Louise Seals and I are still walking and now we have a 10K to get ready for (thanks Louise!). My neighbor also wants to get ready for the 10K so I’ve agreed to walk each Saturday morning with her. I’ve got a volleyball team that plays for two hours each Tuesday. And a trainer helps motivate me another day of the week.

By the end of January my habit should be formed. If it’s not, my local Y gave me an extra incentive. I need to workout at the Y at least 3 times/week during the next four weeks. A Wellness Coach will punch my card. I turn in the completed card for a prize and I’m entered in a grand prize drawing! When it comes to breaking or creating a new habit, we often need an extra incentive. I want to see my card completed. I also want to get fit.

At work, I want my habit to be that I am out the door by 6 p.m. or earlier (and I’m not coming in any earlier). No more 10- or 12-hour days! I printed a blank calendar and every day that I leave by or before 6 p.m. I cross off the day. At the end of 30 days, I’m hoping I’ll have created a habit (although I suspect I may need 60 days for this habit to take root). I also gave myself an incentive. When I succeed, I get to buy myself a prize.

What habits are you trying to create?

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