There are various studies floating around which go into great detail on how to form a habit. A habit is an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary. In order to form a habit one must first set a conditioning period. Scott Young suggests a period of 30 days. If it’s too short or long you’ll fail. On average he suggests that it takes around 60 days to turn something into a habit.
During the 30 day conditioning period the goal is fairly straight forward- turn the behavior into a habit. In order to do so he explains that you must do it every.single.day. You heard me right. The reason most people fail is because they don’t do it enough during the conditioning period thus the behavior never turns into a habit.
Take me for example. My current goal is to run, approximately three times a week. If I start out doing just that I will most likely never reach said goal. Starting today I am putting myself into a conditioning period for Young’s recommended 30 days, and as a result will run every day. Once exercising regularly (running in my case) becomes routine for me and I no longer need willpower to do so, I can reduce the number of days to my objective, 3 days a week. Until I am able to run everyday successfully, for about a month or more, I can’t drop the number of times I go running-or else I fall short of my goal. Get the idea?
Young seems to know what he’s talking about and because I have nothing to loose I’m stepping out on faith and will test his theory. In 30 days (hopefully) I will be a lean, mean, running machine. If not, I’ll try something else. In either case, I will work out regularly-one way or another.
Let the journey to greater health begin……now.