"If you're new, keep coming." This phrase is common among 12 step programs for addiction. But think about it. This thought can apply to all walks of life.
In a study conducted by Phillippa Lally, a researcher at University College London, it takes an average of 66 days for a new habit to form. Think about the economy. It is kept afloat by people's desires to drop, create, and manipulate behaviors. At the beginning of each year, on our birthday, on the first day of the next month, you name it, perhaps we make it a point to drink more water or become an expert in the latest fitness trend. We start out with a fire under our butt. We are filled with excitement; marking up our month-at-a-glance calendar and creating daily digital reminders.
And then life sets in. We get stuck at work late. Our child stays home sick from school. We begin to doubt our willpower and more importantly, the time that we have to make changes. We slowly begin to fall out of sync or abandon our new nature cold turkey. We were fine prior to that new behavior anyway. Right!?
"If you're new, keep coming." It is a simple thought. And yet despite the knowledge of wanting to make a change in our life, our minds do not respond well to change. The addage, "knowing is half the battle," is wrong. A smoker of fifty plus years knows that he is at risk for cancer and yet he continues in his nicotine-filled ways. Recovery meetings take place every day and at all differnet times. Why do you think that is?
It takes commitment and hard work to create new habits. It is up to an individual to learn what personally works best in order to transform a desire into an actual practice. It is okay to need reassurance and accountability. In fact, studies prove that being held accountable for our actions increases our chances for success. Find a friend, family member, spouse, coworker, facebook group or penpal and get to it! In the words of Effie Trinket, "May the odds be ever in your favor!"
-Written by Alli Chazen
For more information on Lally's study: https://jamesclear.com/new-habit
For more information on the GI Joe Fallacy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GimHHAID_P0
For more information on the 5 rules of recovery: https://www.addictionsandrecovery.org/five-rules-of-recovery.htm