Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Habits or Resolutions??

So, I've heard that there are studies that show it takes 21 days for a person to form a new habit, or break an old one.  I've perused the internet, not looking super hard, but looking, and never actually found any studies that prove this statement.  But, I think it's an interesting concept, especially at this time of year.  Here's the closest I found to a study proving this 21 day theory:

New Year's is a time for new beginnings for most people.  Lots of people make New Year's resolutions, hoping this will be the time that they make the change.  But, how long do people actually stick with these resolutions?  Maybe it would be easier to stick with a resolution if you said it was a new habit, or that you were breaking an old one.  Here's an article from MSNBC on resolutions and sticking to them, and most importantly why we don't:
I think this article shows that not just resolutions are hard to keep, but habits are hard to form and break, because our brain's pleasure center wants what it wants.

We are a month in to the New Year, did you make any resolutions?  Did you keep them?  I'm not usually one to make resolutions. I think they are silly.  I think the day you decide to make the change should be the day you do it, you shouldn't just wait around for New Years.  I usually just go for it.  But, this year, I decided to make a resolution.  I didn't tell anyone I was doing it, because it was just for me.  It was a silly little thing.  My resolution was to floss, every single day.  Ya, ya, I know, I already should've been doing that.  But, I wasn't, I'm dumb.  But, I decided to make a resolution, to floss every single day.  It's been one month.  So, did I stick with it?  Yup.  Some days I forget, but I go back and do it.  I have flossed every single day this month, and plan to continue to do so.  Anyway, might seem silly and dumb, but I did stick to it and so far I've been really good.  I know my teeth and gums thank me.

A lot of people don't stick with their resolutions, check out this article about just that: http://www.proactivechange.com/resolutions/statistics.htm

But, then look at this article, it talks about how to set goals and keep them and how when you set one goal you fail, you can actually have a better chance at keeping with it next time: http://www.goal-setting-guide.com/statistics-facts-setting-years-resolutions

Did you stick with your resolutions?  If not, maybe go back and start over, it is the beginning of a new month.  Or start tomorrow, its the beginning of a new day.  Whenever you start, remember you should be making these changes for yourself and not for others.  For me, I am my harshest critic and I don't want to let myself down.  My resolution (forming a new habit) was a seemingly easy one, flossing, but I did it for me, and I knew that I would be happier with myself for doing it.  I have now formed a new habit, so maybe that whole 21 day thing was right on?  31 days and I'm still going strong.

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