Lent may or may not mean much to you, but why not use the idea of these 40 days between now and Easter, to focus on something in your life you’d like to change, for example, your health.
40 days is a finite length of time, there is an end in sight, and 6 weeks is just long to get a new habit into place.
It could be a habit you’d like to start, like taking a walk every day at lunch, adding a salad every day to lunch or dinner, drinking 8 glasses of water, or decluttering for 15 minutes each day.
Or it could be a habit you want to stop – skip that mid-morning muffin, limit TV to weekends, or get to bed by 11pm. (Note to self!)
Habits are not easy to change, but here are a few pointers:
• Make a decision about what you are going to do. This firms it up and transports it away from the realm of wishy washy wishes!
• Tell a friend about your decision. This will make it more real and help you be accountable.
• Write your decision and habit down. This also helps it become more real and announces to your brain that something new is going to happen.
• If you feel resistant to getting started, try taking a tiny step in the right direction. The point here is to start a habit, no matter how small at the beginning. If you hate exercise for example, try doing it for just one minute a day! I know, it sounds strange but it will actually help you establish the new habit.
• Write down progress on your new habit nightly. This will help remind you, stay on track with your habit and motivate you when you are tempted to quit.
• Watch out for negative mental messages that tempt you to give up. Acknowledge them….and then keep going with your habit.
• Find something to enjoy about your new habit, so you can keep going long-term. Who wants to keep doing something you don’t enjoy?
• Set some consequences for yourself if you stop your new habit. Promise friends on Facebook you will pay them money or do unpleasant chores for them, if you miss more than one day with your new habit.
So good luck! And do let me know how you get on if you embark on a new habit this Lent. I would also love to know what problems or issues you are interested in, and would like me to write about.
Compliments of Grace Gerry, Graceful Solutions, Feb 2013
40 Days To Change A Habit—This Lent!