Bad Habits Busting Your Ass?


SMALL CHANGES EQUALS BIG RESULTS

How to improve your life’s habitual zones

 This is an excerpt from an article I wrote for Women's Fitness Magazine

Nixing habits is a tricky business. Whether you’re continuously late for appointments, dating the wrong guys over and over or unable to shake up your stale workout, don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re not alone. The latest research suggests it takes an average of 66 days to turn small changes into a routine habit. And that 54 percent of us fail to make adjustments last longer than six months.

The good news is that making a lasting transformation is definitely possible. In fact, according to author Charles Duhigg, small shifts can return huge results via a ripple effect that improves all areas of your life.

It can take 66 days to form a new habit

It can take 66 days to form a new habit

“Change might not be fast and it isn't always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped,” says Duhigg in his book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.

Duhigg talks about triggers that send your brain into automatic mode and tell it which habit to use. This is followed by a routine, be it physical, mental or emotional. “Finally there is the reward which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future.” says Duhigg.

You could liken it to the instant gratifications of reaching for the cookie jar instead of the longer-term benefits of choosing kale chips. It’s this cue, routine, reward cycle that sets bad habits in a continual motion.

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Or Kale?

Or Kale?

“Most of our habits have automatically formed through repetitive and unconscious actions and programming of our subconscious mind,” agrees life coach Leiza Clark. “People need to realise they’re the only ones who hold the real power to change by understanding the consequences and taking full responsibility of their negative patterns.”

Read more about Recognising the Reward, Taking Ownership and Securing Support to nix bad habits in the November issue of Australian Women's Fitness