- A habit is a routine of behavior that tends to occur subconsciously.
- Habit is when we take a behavior and turn it into an automatic routine.
- Some say it takes 21 days to form a habit, some research says it takes 66 days.
In my own experience it takes “Motivation” “Reflection” “Discipline” and “Support” to start a habit and keep it our daily routine.
My new year resolution in January was to walk 30 minutes every day. I had my doubts about it even while I was writing this down. I had a self-made policy that I am blessed with skills and talents and need to share them as well as keep learning to refresh myself, which stretched to the limits. After lengthy work days, it was always networking, church meeting and preparation for next day/next week meetings etc. which kept my waking hours longer. So my walking time was calculated after all my work is done around 9:30PM or later which will not my “other” Habits.
So just to keep from disappointing myself, I walked 30 minutes one day a week.
In February I walked 2 days a week. In March with the dawn of Spring it got a little easier to walk three days a week. From July I am walking 1 hour everyday about 2.5 miles.
WOW…how could I do that…I have empowered myself.
Motivation: I have read too many articles and saw on Facebook of people starting and quitting within two weeks. I had to take baby steps to start this habit and kept myself motivated by reading, talking to people about their habits, watching people in my network etc. it is not the goal but the process that was important and kept me moving forward. I started slow and had to evaluate my work-life balance and to carve out the time only once a week to get started.
Reflection: I had to keep reflecting on the process. Walking time to reflect, relax and rejuvenate was refreshing as well. It also became more time towards listening to sermons, podcasts which helped to increase my walking time to 30-45-60 minutes gradually.
Discipline: It is the combination of being motivated, reflecting on the new habit that is keeping me disciplined to continue this activity. Also knowing I am doing something good for my own self makes me proud.
Habits are powerful if we can make them into a regular routine taking one step at a time, the changes then become part of our life.