So 2016 is looming and you may be thinking about changes you want to make, whether it be to lose weight, exercise more or take up a new hobby. The list can be endless. BUT New Years resolutions are attempts to change habits.
So what are habits?
Habits involve an ordered sequence of actions or thoughts that are triggered by a particular cue, situation or event. They are learned over a period of time by being repeated over and over again. Habits are persistent, fixed and are performed almost automatically.
Why do we need habits?
Habits make us more efficient. They allow us to sail through our day on ‘autopilot’ so that we don’t have to think about every tiny action needed to get through the day. Imagine how overwhelmed your brain would be if you had to think about every single action you do each day.
To form a habit you need to
Habits are stored as chunks of behaviours or brain activity. When you are forming a habit you repeat thoughts or perform actions over and over again until they cause the brain cells to fire together and then form wiring like a circuit which works automatically.
We know that old habits are not broken they are only masked by new behaviours or thoughts. To change an old habit takes persistence and motivation.
It is a myth that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. One study on habit formation found it takes 20-254 days (average 84 days) for a habit to become automatic.
So when thinking about your 2016 New Years Resolutions consider
How ready are you to change this habit?
Here’s to new healthy habits in 2016.
Kathy Hunter - Prinicpal Educator at Hunter Study Solutions