Any action can be brought to automatism, the main thing is to repeat it daily, or with an equal time interval, for example, every Wednesday, or every weekend. Man gets used to everything, but it takes time.
Studying in the figure skating class for adults, I noticed a standard situation, repeated from year to year. After the summer break, many participants a week, two, or even a month, delay the beginning of classes. But having come only once, calmly begin to walk on a standard schedule two or three times a week, and sometimes more often. It is enough just to begin.
In one famous book written in the middle of the last century, plastic surgeon Maxwell Maltz was followed by his observation that the habituation to a new image of his patients lasted an average of 21 days.
After that, he noticed that he himself needed a minimum of 21 days in order to instill some action. In his book “Psycho-cybernetics” he concludes that for the formation of any habit a person needs at least 21 days.
His work became a bestseller in those years, and the story of 21 days long became firmly in the minds of people. But everyone forgot that he indicated a minimum of 21 days, that is, the formation of the habit goes on at different rates, and depends on many factors, so three weeks is the minimum time for fastening, and many actions take much longer.
The time interval of three weeks fell in love with everyone, because it is quite visible and accessible. Try to act 21 days to create a habit, many are willing to agree, and if they immediately voice that it will take more than 3 months for this action, many will not even take it, because the result is too long.
At the same time, studies show that on simple positive habits, for example, drinking 1.5 liters of water per day, it will take an average of three weeks to a month, and complex and labor-intensive actions will be fixed several times longer.
For example, a morning jog in the park in any weather will require about 80 days for fastening, and classes in the gym 3 times a week – from 55 to 70 days. To take and fall in love with yourself , to form a positive outlook on life , to learn how to manage your emotions , develop self-confidence or increase self-esteem , weeks, months and even years can go by. The average figures are given, but they also depend on the person himself and his motivation.
What determines the timing of the habit
The number of repeated repetitions of the same action to form a habit depends on our motivation and our relationship to it. How to fix bad habits: once trying, for example, to eat chips on the way from work, the second time you buy them, because you liked it, and the third is already out of habit.
It took only three days to form. And the reason is simple enough: the brain produces at that moment a pleasure hormone, and easily repeats what he liked.
With useful habits is much more difficult. Usually the first time you have to motivate yourself, and sometimes force. The more undesirable this action is, the more chances to break, and to roll back to the beginning of the path. Quite often understanding of the situation and internal persuasion cease to function.
The reason for this is that you force yourself, actions through force cause internal rejection, and it will be very difficult to bring the conceived to the end. For a positive experience of fixing any action, it is worthwhile to find something that is not just useful, but what will cause pleasure, then getting used will be easier and faster.
The timing of the formation depends on two components:
Persistence of repetition, any omissions are rolled back not for one day, but much more. Therefore, if the task is to instill a daily action, then it is necessary to perform it every day, and better at the same time. The result should be the same as brushing your teeth. You do not notice in the morning this procedure, while doing it on the machine for many years, and you do not have to force or persuade yourself.
Emotional attitude. The more negative you feel about the new action in your life, the longer it will be fixed, there will be more breakdowns, moral resistance, and other inhibitory factors. Therefore it is necessary before the beginning of the conscious formation of the habit of changing its attitude towards it.
How to love your future habit
It is necessary to work with the emotional component, because the more joyfully you take the matter, the easier and faster the result will be. The most important thing that quickly forms habits is getting pleasure. Therefore, in every new action it is necessary to find this pleasure, or to create it artificially.
To do this, any rewards of yourself, small daily joys that you usually do not allow yourself, or any other tricks that will cause permanent positive emotional connections will do.
Drink a cup of coffee at your favorite cafe every time after the morning exercise. After a fitness club, allow yourself to meet with friends or go to the movies. Any action should give a sense of joy, then the process of fixing will be much faster and easier.
Combating bad habits
Refusal of actions harmful to our health is a rather difficult matter. Often we postpone these changes every time, we find a thousand reasons and excuses to prolong these pleasures.
We constantly struggle and lose, we consider ourselves to be guilty, and from this we lose even more. The easiest way to abandon the fight at all, it will never lead to victory. It is necessary to choose a different path. The simplest for our brain is the way to replace one action with another.