So, you’ve made a New Year’s resolution… how do you stick with it? And let’s be honest – it’s February now. It’s ok if you’ve already lost track. We’re all creatures of habit, so how long does it actually take to change a habit?
Phillippa Lally from University College London in the Journal of Social Psychology states on average it takes 66 days (just over 2 months) to change a habit, but results ranged from just 18 days to a whopping 254 days! Therefore, don’t expect to see results in a short period of time.
Habit Change is for the Long Haul
It’s a process that takes time! Sometimes, it’s better to make small changes than to overhaul your entire lifestyle. For example, establish some singular or smaller goals:
- Try to eliminate desserts six days a week
- Exercise three days a week
- Decrease calories per day by 300 or 500
Take Dr. Stevens for Example
As many of you know, I have lost a lot of weight and have improved my body composition and have been able to maintain for about a year.
So, how did I do it? I started working out daily on December 4, 2017. For over 18 months, I missed, maybe, 10-14 days because of a viral illness, travel, holiday. It took me about four months to get reliably in the habit and then I’d miss not exercising if I didn’t go.
It was pure willpower though that got me through those first four months – it has to come from within.
For me, it was that I didn’t like the way I looked and knew it wasn’t healthy, but one day I made a decision to change, and I have! Initially, I just did one hour of cardio per day. Months later, I started adding weight training. Late last summer, I hired a trainer.
I no longer exercise every day, but it’s still my goal. I’m hitting three-to-five days per week now. As far as diet goes, I eliminated sweets, mostly, and was mindful of how much I ate – didn’t have second helpings, etc. I did not change what I ate otherwise, just quantity as I wanted to be able to maintain a decent diet. Fad diets can work, but I find that they are not sustainable.
What is Your Goal?
It’s never too late to start! It does not have to be January 1. Find something that motivates you, recruit family or friends to help. If you fail initially, no worries; try again!
We’re here to support our concierge clients in their wellness goals for 2020 and encourage you to reach out and schedule your initial consultation with us today if you’re not already part of our client roster.