by gpacx
19 replies
The conventional wisdom on habit forming and habit breaking is that forming a new habit or breaking an old one takes 21 days. Simply add a new task to your routine and within 3 weeks, you'll do it without ever having to worry about forgetting it, or even think about it. This mostly applies to simple habits like brushing your teeth before bedtime, making your bed when you wake up in the morning, waking up at a certain time, or going to the gym. Anything that fits into your routine of how you go through a day, apparently, can be affected.

This methodology has worked for a lot of people, but major problems can arise with habit forming when it isn't done in the right way, and the above approach as a methodology for forming habits is completely wrong. People think that "Do something for 21 days" is a method of actually creating a new habit, then they try to actually implement this change and it doesn't succeed.

The issue is that changing a habit takes motivation and motivation is very temporary. In fact, for most people, motivation lasts less than 24 hours. How can you be expected to devote time every single day to a singular task for three whole weeks if your motivation for changing this habit is only going to last 24 hours maximum? Why is motivation such a fleeting thing and how can you overcome the reality that yours won't last?

The answer to these questions actually comes from the psychologist Bandura who developed a theory about motivation. According to him, there are 3 types of motivation - personal, social, and structural. Understanding these three types of motivation is the key to starting or removing any habit from your life - you have to change your motivation.

Personal motivation is whether or not you want to do something. Personal motivation and willpower are pretty similar - just because you want something right now doesn't mean that you will later. Social motivation is whether or not the people around you are supporting you in the change you're looking to make - more about this in a moment. Finally, structural motivation is whether or not the systems are in place to actually facilitate the activity.

Let's take an example - you want to be an excellent chess player. You decide that forming a habit of studying chess for two hours each day is a great way to start improving the way you need to. You know that you can accomplish this in 21 days, so you give it a go. This may sound like a recipe for success, but without the proper motivations in place, you're likely to lose focus. Your personal motivation (I want to be a chess player!) can only last for so long - you need other types of motivation to sustain your effort levels.

Social motivation could come from a parent, friend or family member who checks on your progress, plays chess games with you or holds you accountable some other way. Having a network of people supporting your success is a strong social motivator for continuing a behaviour. Structural motivation comes from a wider support system of tools to get it done - a chess app on your phone, chess board, membership at a chess club, having books about chess and being around people who play are all great ways to ensure that you stick to your goal and get immersed in the game.

Implementing the correct system of motivations makes it almost impossible to fail at most tasks - you have to create a system that enables your goal and holds you accountable for reaching it. Where most people come up short in trying to use the 21-day program is that they don't make big enough changes to actually hold themselves accountable, so they end up giving up far before they reach the 21 day mark.
Here's another example - Stan wants to start waking up early and meditating every morning at 6. Stan knows that if he does this every day for 21 days, it will become a habit and he'll be in the clear - he's motivated! Unfortunately, Stan needs to hang around with friends after work each day to relieve stress, and he's used to going to sleep by midnight and waking up at 8am. Stan wants to wake up two hours earlier, but he'll actually need to break the habit of staying out late with friends in order to facilitate that habit, otherwise he'll be too tired and lack the personal motivation to get up. Unfortunately, the social motivation created by Stan's friends encourages him to stay out late drinking, so we need to get rid of this strong force in order to help him wake up early.
As we can see, Stan has competing motivations in his life that he hasn't addressed, and until he does so, he'll find a lot of influences in his life that negatively impact his goal of waking up early every day. Routines are difficult to disrupt and it's important to consider which routines you're disrupting when you start trying to add new routines. Make sure that your new routine is properly supported by your environment and find someone or a group to hold you accountable to your goal.
#forming #habits
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  • Profile picture of the author alextrevayne
    Thanks for the info G

    I usually struggle the second week, that's why we need a mentor.
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  • Profile picture of the author gpacx
    Thanks for your reply Alex, I absolutely agree. Mentors provide great social and structural motivation for us - not only do they create accountability by giving you someone you can impress and someone who has an interest in your success, mentors create structural motivation by checking up on you, following up with you, scheduling meetings with you and focusing on your success with you.

    What I would add is that you can also change your friends or your routine and get the same results. The person that you're modeling your behaviour after can also be your peer or another person in your life.

    If you only find it tough in the second week, you probably have more willpower than most people who start finding things difficult on the second day - that's a good sign!
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  • Profile picture of the author sobbycv
    I think in this new age social media also has a lot to offer

    Me i always go to youtube on my mobile and start watching motivational and spiritual videos

    youtubes new design also brings you all kinds of related and unexpected videos

    I think that can help a lot since you stay on the course and your Interest will stay alive for to make it a habit

    I have lots of friends who learned lots of new habits that way !

    but

    getting hooked to FB and twitter and YT can also become a habit !!!
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  • Profile picture of the author gpacx
    sobbycv, that's a great insight - thanks for your reply.

    Negative habits have to be broken in order to incorporate positive habits, because the way that you spend your time is a habitual thing. For example, if you're using facebook and youtube all the time and you want to start going to the gym, not only do you have to start going to the gym on a regular basis, you'll have to stop doing what you were doing instead of going to the gym - you'll have to stop using FB and YT!!

    People don't fully consider the ramifications of their actions though, when they're trying to form a new habit and change things around in their lives. You have to know what you're giving up when you take on something new and be ready for the changes that come with that. I do like the idea of watching motivational videos everyday - it makes me wonder if you could use that as a feed-forward mechanism that would elevate and sustain your motivation. Great idea!
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  • Profile picture of the author sobbycv
    yeah of course !

    I love the option of youtube where you keep getting new related videos as you watch one

    so boredom doesnt seem to be an issue

    I found videos by gurus who i never knew existed !!

    i saw their videos and was amazed by their messages
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  • Profile picture of the author Just Jess
    I left the habit forming effect completely on hypnosis and've noticed the results kick in seamlessly. Everything happened unconsciously, without personal interference.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jack Bane
    The only habit you need to work on is remaining positive and getting in trance to find answers.
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  • Profile picture of the author hardraysnight
    got any dirty habits asked the washerman in the nunnery
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  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    Originally Posted by gpacx View Post



    Personal motivation is whether or not you want to do something. Personal motivation and willpower are pretty similar - just because you want something right now doesn't mean that you will later. Social motivation is whether or not the people around you are supporting you in the change you're looking to make - more about this in a moment. Finally, structural motivation is whether or not the systems are in place to actually facilitate the activity.

    Let's take an example - you want to be an excellent chess player. You decide that forming a habit of studying chess for two hours each day is a great way to start improving the way you need to. You know that you can accomplish this in 21 days, so you give it a go. This may sound like a recipe for success, but without the proper motivations in place, you're likely to lose focus. Your personal motivation (I want to be a chess player!) can only last for so long - you need other types of motivation to sustain your effort levels.

    Social motivation could come from a parent, friend or family member who checks on your progress, plays chess games with you or holds you accountable some other way. Having a network of people supporting your success is a strong social motivator for continuing a behaviour. Structural motivation comes from a wider support system of tools to get it done - a chess app on your phone, chess board, membership at a chess club, having books about chess and being around people who play are all great ways to ensure that you stick to your goal and get immersed in the game.

    .
    well on one hand this will probably not get read by the Original poster ..but the fastes way to become an excellent chess player is to on a daily basis play against better chess players than you until you can beat excellent chess players ..

    if the people around you at this point suck at chess .. they are not qualified to actually judge your chess ability .

    now the other way is to use any good computer chess program.. start setting it at a difficulty level you can win then increase untill you lose then play until you can beat that higher level then increase again . at the same time as you are playing flesh and blood human beings ..who are better than you .

    here is the core of this though .. you are not just developing habits to play chess or get better and redesigning your life.. you have to be away of the strong reason you are setting the goal to become an excellent chess player .. if you currently are bad .. so that you are willing to lose thousands of times as you are working to get better .

    If you lack that strong reason behind why you set the goal in the first place you won't get anywhere close to 22 or 66 or how ever many days it requires to make something a habit .

    honestly if you start a new job and it takes you 3 weeks to get in the habit of getting to work ontime ..or shift to stopping at your favorite coffee chain that has a store on the way to your new job ..or lunch or breakfast place.. even if you had the habit of stopping at other stores that gave the same service for 3 years ..but the of work was ten miles north .. new work is ten miles south of where you live .. and as strong at the habits where of making those stops on the way north.. you will shift to new store on the souther path .. and if you don't have one .. you may make new habit of brewing coffee at home or making your own lunch or breakfast at home .

    and you will probably have these new set of habits as long as you have the job at the newer location..

    forming new habits is not hard if the changes in environment or habitat ..support or force the changes .
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  • Profile picture of the author Master Blake
    Ever since I "woke up", I started forming new habits.
    Without even realizing it. It was all smooth sailing.

    Actually ever since, it feels like all roads lead to Rome.

    I knew I had pinned it down. An eerie energy field
    wrapped around my aura. Feeling blissed out and smiling
    for no reason. How on earth do colors portray so vidid?

    Why am I on a natural high... I don't care.

    All I care is that I can assimilate the particles of
    the universe and turn back the aging clock, gush with
    excitement and tap on exotic energy fields.

    A marvel the mind that is, needs to be fed with key
    commands that trigger an awakening. Plus, the
    biochemical reaction of the brain is superfluous
    thus making you feel complete. And that folks
    is the precursor of personal magnetism.
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  • Profile picture of the author oppyeaunome
    Nice post! I've found some gems in this one. I've been trying to form new habits and it does take some motivation in the beginning, but once you can get going and it sticks you literally become unstoppable.

    Imagine taking the time over the course of a year to develop good habits. Trust me I definitely think that would be worth the time.

    Love the information you've shared in this post G!
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  • Profile picture of the author wirriam
    Absolutely fantastic post Habits are so important- if only more people knew!
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Sometimes folks try to make quantum leaps when a simple baby step today, then tomorrow, works best. Any habits I changed were gradual. Save when I had a near death experience and stopped biting my fingernails......story involves giardia, India and being terrified of germs on my nails LOL.
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    • Profile picture of the author Odahh
      Originally Posted by ryanbiddulph View Post

      Sometimes folks try to make quantum leaps when a simple baby step today, then tomorrow, works best. Any habits I changed were gradual. Save when I had a near death experience and stopped biting my fingernails......story involves giardia, India and being terrified of germs on my nails LOL.
      Ryan , you have lived in several different countries .. so you know how quickly you for new habits based on the locations you move to.. and shift from old pattern based habits ... and like you said nearly dying makes you change a lifetime habit of nail biting overnight ..

      make cigarettes to expensive people shift to rolling their own.. or to a different habit that serves the same function ..and usually put weight on ..

      so without knowing why you perform a habit and what is serves .. you will revert back to the habit you are trying to change.. if you do not find a habit that function..

      so when you stopped biting or chewing on your nails ..what did you shift to chewing on .or to serve the same purpose nail biting did ..
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  • Profile picture of the author Net 700
    I am fully immersed into hypnosis because truth be told I've experienced stellar effects. Whatever has been hypnotically ingrained in me, turned to reality, I guess it's the Cosmic Master hypnosis is that powerful because the effects triggered, actually happen. But you have to believe it and it will happen. Watch your thoughts when you're under a hypnotic spell because things sometimes backfire.

    For example one thought consumed me that I was turning to a very vivid cell inside an organism and had the ability to alter its biological structure. And a bunch of psy experiences that never seem to stop unless I stop listening to hypnosis for some time.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jack Slayton
      ^^ Agree, his hypnosis is way too powerful. I can feel the transformation in an instant.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jessica FK
    The cosmic one completely transfigured me to my "ultra" self. His recordings are out of this galaxy.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Attention Kmart shoppers, this thread is two years old.
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