Why habit is the key to success

There are some great motivational phrases out there about habit and success. This particular one struck a chord with me, in relation to our quest for long lasting health and fitness.

Watch you thoughts, they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch you habits; they become character. Watch you character, it becomes your destiny!

When you first make the decision to change, your drive to improve your behaviours and achieve your goals is high. But what happens after a few weeks, when life events take over and your motivation starts to wain? Positive action towards our goal starts to slip. We start to find excuses and we start to believe and accept our excuses and we end up right back where we started.

The reason so many of us end up on this cycle of disappointment is because we don’t let the new habits stick for long enough to become our new state of norm. Success is about making the positive actions that lead you to your goal a habit, so they become second nature.

Research says it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit and an average of 66 days for a new behaviour to become automatic.  Some habits are easier to form than others and the time it takes will be different for everyone.

So if it takes 66 days, just over 2 months for a new behaviour to become automatic, its normal for you to be struggling with will power right now, as the new actions are not yet second nature. HOWEVER, it is also crucial right NOW for you to stick with your new healthy habits and keep going like your life depends on it, because in many ways, it actually does.

Its important to say at this stage that this is not an all-or-nothing process. We are human and we are going to have really good days and days where we could have done better. That’s ok! Not giving up is what’s important.  There is no reason to get down on yourself if you try something for a week or two and it doesn’t stick straight away. Its supposed to take longer than that. If you can’t embrace it immediately, keep working on it, embrace the long haul journey. Making a few wrong choices here and there will have no measurable effect on the long term outcome, but GIVING UP WILL.

When motivation dies, habit will take over, but you have to repeat the actions that form the new habits over and over again so they become you!

Start with your thoughts and your self-talk today. Talk yourself into your new healthy habits, not out of them. Listen to what you say to yourself; it has a profound impact on your actions and shapes you and your destiny!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top