Most of us do it every year. We set resolutions and goals. Maybe yours are subconscious or conscious, but few are immune to the allure of an annual reset to improve ourselves.
When we set a resolution or goal of some kind, we have every intention of hitting it, right?
But, we most often fail to make it past the conventionally accepted 21-day practice for that goal or resolution to become habit. But, where’d the 21 days come from and is it really accurate?
That 21-day minimum was originally revealed by an early pioneer exploring human potential, and noted plastic surgeon, Dr. Maxwell Maltz, and in his book, Psycho-Cybernetics.
Has that all changed? Or, was it ever even real?
According to Google, “recent research led by a team at the University College London think they have uncovered just how long (on average) it takes for something to become habitual. They do not think it takes 21 days to form a habit. They believe it takes an average of 66 days to create a habit.”
While we can likely think someone I truly admire for his incredible work in the study of human potential, Dr. Maltz, I’m inclined to think it takes far more than 21 days, or perhaps even longer than 66 days to create a new lifelong habit.
My own journey reveals there is likely more at work and required to adapt new lifelong habits, as simple as Jonesing for a steaming mug of Joe every morning, making it, drinking it and repeating it 365 days a year, and when you miss one, two or three days, it’s easy to pick the habit back up again.
It has to do with emotions. And, it’s not a subject I personally love or enjoy. Frankly, emotions, and I think many men of my generation agree – emotions are uncomfortable and best shoved to the back of the mind…lest they rule you, what you do and define you.
That’s the magic. Instead of ignoring emotions, we can harvest the power of our emotions to make deeper-seated, longer-term change. Here’s how…
If you truly want to change, adapt new habits and reach goals and resolutions you’ve set, one would believe with this new research that you need to invest at least 66 days to get you there and…while I’ve not read about it in any research, my own experience reveals that to get there quicker, perhaps easier, you must have a significant and emotional “reason why” you want that new habit to form, or, it isn’t likely to ever take shape.
But, there’s more to it. You see, that emotional reason must either trigger a feeling of euphoria or pain. Nothing in the middle will be as effective.
Those “reasons why” serve two different purposes: They give the logical side of your brain fuel; and, they give your emotional side of the brain either a pain or pleasure state. Both can be motivators to adapt new habits.
A great example: When I was in my 20s and 30s, I rarely wore sunscreen. After several bouts of skin cancer on my head, neck and back, I decided the pain and fear of what skin cancer can lead to was not worth it. I was also tired of wasting valuable time at the dermatologist when I have three companies to run. So, today, I wear sunscreen on my face, head and ears 365 days a year. It’s been integrated as part of my daily routine. Just like coffee.
Another…In my research, I’ve learned that cancer is fed by sugars we eat. All sorts of sugar. It’s like high-octane racing fuel for cancer cells.
So, it’s been far easier to cut back on sweets and many days eliminate them altogether due to the pain associated with cancer and my desire to live cancer-free.
And, an example using pleasure to form new habits – I love what money can do. I mean, really who doesn’t? One of the tenants in my businesses that I’ve tracked over the years is the more I write, the more money flows into my businesses. If I don’t write, the money flow stops or is restricted.
I’ve actually trained myself to love writing because I know it leads to my family’s financial well-being.
I’d add one last thing: Napoleon Hill wrote about it often. And, his writings have proven true for me. Without what Hill called, “definiteness of purpose,” no goal, resolution or end game you have in mind, can be met. You must have a purpose – a simple and defined purpose for your subconscious mind to adapt, for goals to become reality.
In each of these examples above, I have purpose behind each one that makes it easier still to push forward.
What do you want to accomplish? What’s your purpose? What do you really want in 2017 that you didn’t get in 2016?
Best of luck to you in the New Year. And, when you are ready for a permanent change in your business, reach out. We have solutions from $19.95 and up to help you grow the business you deserve.