Professors at the University College of London (Lally et al., 2009) published a study on habits and determined that it takes at least 2 months, approximately 66 days on average, to make a habit.

As we begin the new year, following through with a new year's resolution may be a challenge. Many wish to follow through with their resolution only to fall short early on. That’s why creating something like a new year’s resolution into a habit will give it more importance in your daily life. A common resolution that many choose to make is going to the gym more often. Some will overdo it, some will get lazy, but for the majority it will start to look like wishful thinking. Learning how to create a habit will allow you to achieve what you wished for this holiday year. Here are some tips on creating healthy and enforced habits!

1) 21/90 Rule

A popular building method for habits is called the 21/90 rule. This is where you commit a personal or professional goal for 21 straight days. If you can continuously keep something going for a little over two weeks, it makes it easier to create a habit from that point on. Once you gain the newly habit that you were so hardworkingly trying to achieve, you must continue to do it for another ninety days for that habit to become your new daily lifestyle change.

2) Be Positive!

Learning how to stay positive can really influence the development of the goal/habit that you want to achieve. Following through with positive affirmations leads to a great start to the day leaving you focused throughout the journey. Writing one good thing down for the first 21 days will create a focused mindset to stick with the new year’s resolution. After writing down one good thing for the first 21 days, the journey of forming this new lifestyle may seem more optimistic. It’ll be as if the negative thoughts won’t negatively influence your mind as much as it did before when starting this new goal.

3) Don’t Burnout, Take it Slow

The most important aspect of building a new habit is not allowing yourself to burnout. The excitement of starting something new quickly fills the head with the doubts of attempting at the new goal. For example, being really sore or even getting injured makes it worse when people who never go the gym begin to workout at a high intensity. That’s why maintaining momentum and making the behavior easier to accomplish is the main concept of goal maintenance. Allow yourself to start off slow, and periodically each week change up the difficulty of how you're maintaining that goal. Your body and mind will quickly adapt if you continue to do the same routine, especially if you’re trying to get better at something, that’s why changing it up allows your body to grow habitually stronger. Writing down the changes is also a great way of tracking your progress.

If you made a new year resolution, can you stick with it for the first 21 days? Come back here, and comment on your achievement for when you do!

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