The experts, whoever they are, say to create a habit, you must do the same thing everyday for seven days. I think creating a habit is more complicated than that.
You have to factor in, other must do activities. For an example: WORK. Most of us have a job or jobs. My work hours on my day job varies each week. One week I open and the next I close. So, to create a habit, I would have to do whatever act at a certain time during my closing week and then do the same act at a different time for the opening week.
Life usually throws a wrench into your good intentions. So you decide it’s time to hit the gym. Therefore, you go everyday for a week. According to the experts, ta-da! Habit formed. The next week, you pull a muscle. So for days you sit around the house, crying about your leg or arm or shoulder or worse yet, back muscle. You barely manage to get dressed for work, forget working out. Habit destroyed.
To make a habit, you need to know what you’re doing. Look at this new activity in a realistic view. Can I work out everyday at the gym? This week I can, if I get out of the bed in the morning. Next week will be more difficult. I would have to go after work. Okay, what else could stop you? Well, my family will want to eat when I get home, if I stay at the gym too long they might starve to death.
Which brings us to the next phrase of creating a habit, plan ahead and get organized. So, set that alarm clock. You go to the gym and pull that back muscle. Ouch! Instead of lying around and crying, take this time to purchase books or magazines about working out. Research types of exercises you could do, once your back heals. Break it down into a grid of which exercises you can do on which days. Now, look at low impact exercises you could still do, while your back muscle repairs itself. What? You can’t make it to the gym on Mondays? Your day is too full of the must dos. Okay. Figure out what exercises you can do at home. Or during the one hour lay over in Georgia.
Now, to the most important habit creating phrase. You HAVE to and WANT to do this. Oh man, that giant ten pound chocolate candy bar looks and smells delicious. Sob! I’m on a diet! Why oh why did I decide to start a diet this week? What’s wrong with me?
Screw it, I’m going in! It’s raining chocolate!
You can’t give in to temptation. You want to do good in your life. You want to be healthy. You want to better yourself. You want to be a better person. You want to help others. Then you HAVE to walk the walk. You HAVE to talk the talk. You HAVE to do the action you created in your life. You want to work out, then you have to go to the gym. You want to eat healthy, then you have to eat healthy. Every single day forever. Sorry, seven days don’t cut it. This is something you must focus on and force yourself to do every single day.
I look at the things I do in life as a job. I write novels. (Buy my books) So, I HAVE to write. It’s my job to write. I’d better write. I write this blog three days a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I wake early on my closing week to make sure I have time to add this activity into my day. I hand write this blog at work during my opening week and when I get home, I put it on the laptop. I decided to do this on my own. I HAVE to do this. I WANT to do these things. I enjoy these activities. It’s my job to do write my blog and my novels. I’d better get to writing.
Now, this view-point won’t help everybody. Some people can’t view enjoyable activities as a job. No worries. Call ’em whatever you want to. Just do it. Every day.
Be True to Yourself.