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Changing Your Habits

(3/9) We're almost three months into 2018. How are those New Year's resolutions holding up? Whether or not you've followed through on them the way you hoped, you can always renew your vows, so to speak--or you may be ready to pick up a new habit or drop an old one.

It's going to take a lot of time to change a habit. While we used to say that it took 21 days to form a new habit, a recent study by health psychology researcher Phillippa Lally determined that it actually takes closer to 66 days to make a behavior habitual. Patience is key! But there are several strategies to keep you going strong through those two months.

Small steps

Sometimes the thought implementing a new habit can be intimidating. There's no reason to be overwhelmed by a major shift like this, though. One of the most highly-recommended methods of making a new habit is to introduce it gradually (or vice-versa, if you're getting rid of a bad habit). If you decide to eat more fruits and vegetables, try slowly adding servings in. You might increase your daily servings week by week. Even achieving a tiny step will actually boost your confidence in your ability to reach your goals--which will keep you moving toward them!


If you're trying to get rid of a bad habit, you may find it useful to replace it with a good one. For instance, if you're a smoker, you may want to take a look into vaping. While the long-term effects of vaping have yet to be determined, we do know that it is safer than smoking a cigarette. You might replace your cigarette with a vape (aka e-cigarette) that uses EJuice, which you can find great deals for online, to create vapor that you inhale instead of smoke and carcinogens. If you're trying to stay off social media, download a news app instead and opt for that every time you feel the compulsion to open Facebook or Instagram.

Track yourself

Track your changes. This is especially helpful if you are taking baby steps to introduce or reduce a habit, because you can see the change over time. If you're trying to exercise more, keep track of your reps, weight, and times each day. Note how many times a week you work out. Track your weekly body stats, if that's part of your goal. Also note what other elements in your life help you stay on track. Do you need to take a workout supplement like Mesomorph pre-workout to help you have the energy to keep up correct form? Perhaps you notice that you spend more time with your kids if you schedule your week in advance. Or maybe you realize that you eat more when you're stressed, and you feel more stressed when your house is messy, so you therefore need to keep a clean house to avoid overeating!

Don't be afraid of mistakes

There have been myriad studies on how to most effectively create a good habit or remove a bad one. It's worth doing your research. But remember, it is going to take work and time, and you may get discouraged or "fail" a few times. Encouragingly, researcher Phillippa Lally also found in her study that missing one or two opportunities to employ the new habit didn't really mess people up on their journey. That's good news for those who might be afraid that they won't be "perfect." A couple of mistakes won't set you back. Anybody training for anything or learning any new skill will make mistakes, and the same applies to acquiring a new habit. So take heart, and carry on.