Habits represent a great strength, perhaps the greatest in absolute.
Usually in life, a success or a failure that happened only once, don’t make a difference. Studies have shown that some winners to the lottery run short of money a few years later because of their bad habits.
If you eat a big slice of cake from time to time, you won’t get fat. But eating every day biscuits containing much butter, you may become fat.
Then success is a habit, not a one time off event. The tortoise always wins although the hare always brags about being the winner.
Do you know the famous fable of Esopo where a Hare ridicules a slow-moving Tortoise? Tired of the Hare’s arrogant behavior, the Tortoise challenges him to a race. The Hare soon leaves the Tortoise behind and, confident of winning, takes a nap midway through the race. When the Hare awakes however, he finds that his competitor, crawling slowly but steadily, has arrived before him.
It is never too late never to adopt a new habit. Since habits are so powerful, you will begin to see immediately great results, once that you will have acquired yours that will bring you toward the realization of your goal.
Then, how to build a new habit?
First thing, decide what you can make more often in order to reach your goal.
Obviously, it depends on your goal.
Do you want to acquire a specific skill? A new competence, or knowledge? Eating healthier? You shall establish your objective. The next important step will be deciding the time and the place. Every habit must come true within a certain time frame and in an established place.
From a scientific study carried out by Philippa Lally, it results that acquiring a new habit takes 66 days. Actually, some people can make it in shorter time (18 days) and others need more time (8 months). Then, being patience must become your mantra.
However there is a small technique that you can learn in order to make simpler the acquisition of a new habit.
I explain it better with a practical example.
Let’s imagine that you want to acquire the habit to go to gym regularly. Well, at the beginning it is not fun. You have to go to a place and make a big effort to train yourself. Going to the gym happily has to become an habit.
Then the first step is deciding about the time and the place, but don’t do anything yet!
I make it clearer: you schedule a day and a time to go to the gym but when you arrive, you don’t exercise. You can make a tour around, or maybe do some light exercise and for a short time. If the gym has a sauna, go to the sauna and then back home.
In this way, you establish the time and the place in your mind but you don’t complete the action, that is not so much amusing for the time being.
I know that it may seem strange to go around for the gym without training. You can think that it is a loss of time but it is not. This is the first step to build a habit, therefore be patient (be the Tortoise!)
After a few days, or a couple of weeks, your mind will associate the time and the place to the gym and not the effort of the physical exercise.
Don’t think that this phase is a loss of time; actually, it is the most important part.
Are you ready for this challenge?