30 Days to Form a Habit

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“It is been said that it takes about 30 days to form a habit. The ones that are good for you require cultivation and determination. The starting phase is the hardest, especially if you want to change an old habit into a new one. This is why giving yourself a challenge for a minimum of 30 days is a great way to improve all facets of your life.” – Martijn Schirp


Forming a new habit can seem impossible. Even with a strong will to better oneself, taking the steps to reach that goal can be daunting and requires organizing our daily lives to make things easier on ourselves. Often, finding a place to start is hard and results don’t show up immediately. Because forming habits can seem intrusive and take time to develop, maintaining motivation is a difficult task.  Sometimes extra help is needed to get over the hump.  Bad habits, on the other hand, can develop without us even being aware of it. This often means that we don’t even realize there is a problem until the habit has already formed. Psychological studies indicate that being able to track daily activity and becoming more mindful of behavioral patterns can help.  Once we become aware of what we are doing, we are more likely to change and adapt our thoughts or behaviors  to line up with our goals and values.

Research indicates that, if we are motivated, being able to track ourselves on a consistent basis is important for learning about patterns in our lives and can help us begin to move from bad habits to good habits.  One might be able to take a guess as to how one regularly responds, but having data that tracks one’s daily patterns can help one see things about their life they would otherwise miss.  For example, being able to track and be mindful of triggers would be useful for people with anger problems, but can be hard to do in the context of everyday life.  In order to address the anger properly, receiving motivation and tracking changes can be implemented as powerful tools to encourage progress.  Similarly, someone engaged in a self-help or recovery program, such as alcoholics anonymous, would benefit from interventions that provide motivation to refrain from consuming alcohol or that ask them to track their thoughts or behaviors. Momentary sampling systems are designed to make this easier.  These systems provide the ability to track oneself, promoting flourishing in the process.  Through being aware and mindful of behaviors and tendencies, good habits can be formed and bad habits have the potential to be discovered and corrected.

Tracking ourselves helps us learn about our positive and negative responses – including the situations leading up to them – over a given period of time. Accurately being able to view what you have done and experienced throughout a day will help you change the responses that are holding you back from developing abilities and habits that open up a new way of living.  Forming a new positive habit doesn’t have to be an intimidating challenge.  Although it might take thirty days or more, life can be experienced in a new and exciting way.

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