There is nothing more frustrating than working hard and not seeing the expected result. What went wrong?
Results are based on your habits. Applying the wrong habit repeatedly always gets a results, just not the one your worked for..
Habits are actions you take on a regular basis without really having to think about. Your actions have become so ingrained that you are no longer thinking about why and what you are doing, you won’t even realize that you have taken the wrong turn in the road and will not reach your goal.
So, how on earth can you change your habit so that you will get the results you want and need? Changing a habit by sheer willpower does not work in the long run. It might work for some time until something in your environment changes and makes it difficult to continue the new way of doing things. The biggest handicap of using willpower to change a habit is very critical: you don’t enjoy doing it the new way and can’t sustain it!
You will have to associate the new habit with something enjoyable, but how do you do make something enjoyable?.
When you start a new habit, stick to the absolute simplest action possible. The idea is that if you start with an incredibly simple action, you can slowly make adjustments to it to create behavior changes.
When you enjoy the new habit, you are excited and looking forward to working a task this new way and you won’t have to rely on your willpower.
This is where the 21/90 rule comes into play.
It takes 21 days to create or change a habit and it will take 90 days to create a new lifestyle based on the new or changed habit.
That’s why the 21 day time frame is so helpful. You give yourself a beginning and end date which will allow you to track your progress. Now, you can make daily or weekly adjustments towards the goal of your new or improved habit by evaluating how it is going every day and weekly. If after 21 days you would miss not doing it, you have changed your habit.
Once you have reached the point where you are now feeling good about your habit, keep on going for the next 90 days and keep on streamlining the new habit even more. Keep your weekly or now monthly evaluations and keep on making minor adjustments. At the end of the 90 days the new habit will have become so automatic that you will be surprised of how making minor adjustment has totally changed your life.
Repeat the whole routine with another habit or start a new habit and so on.
Make a new habit so easy you can’t say No. ~Leo Babauta