Changing Habits & Patterns
Changing a habit or pattern is never an easy task. It requires a considerable amount of effort, commitment, and patience. However, it's a crucial process to undergo to achieve personal growth and overcome limiting beliefs that might be holding you back.
According to a study conducted by Phillippa Lally and her research team at University College London, it takes more than two months for a new behavior to become automatic. The time it takes to change a habit or pattern depends on several factors, including the individual, the habit, and the environment. Some people took as little as 18 days, while others took up to 254 days to form a new habit. In summary, forming a new habit can take anywhere from two to eight months and is not an all-or-nothing process.
Stages of change:
➡️ Stage 1: Pre-Contemplation
At this stage, you may not be aware of the need for change. You may be in denial or have no intention of changing the habit. This stage can last for a long time, and sometimes it can be challenging to move to the next stage.
➡️ Stage 2: Contemplation
You become aware of the need for change and start to consider the possibility of changing. You might weigh the pros and cons of changing the habit or pattern. This stage can last for a few days to several months.
➡️ Stage 3: Preparation
You start preparing to take action. You might start setting goals, gathering information, and seeking support from others. This stage can last for a few days to several weeks.
➡️ Stage 4: Action
You start taking steps towards changing the habit or pattern. You might start with small changes and gradually increase the intensity of your efforts. This stage can last for a few weeks to several months.
➡️ Stage 5: Maintenance
The fifth and final stage is maintenance. At this stage, you have successfully changed the habit or pattern, and you're now working to maintain the change. You might continue to practice the new behavior or pattern, seek support from others, and monitor your progress. This stage can last for a few months to several years.
✅ It's essential to note that the length of each stage can vary from person to person, and some people might move through the stages faster or slower than others. The most crucial factor is to stay committed to the process and be patient with yourself.
In conclusion, changing a habit or pattern takes time and effort. It requires a willingness to change, a commitment to the process, and patience. By being aware of the stages and the time it takes to move through them, you can set realistic expectations and stay motivated throughout the process. Remember, changing a habit or pattern is possible, and with perseverance, you can achieve your goals and transform your life.
Here's a roadmap for changing habits and patterns:
Remember that changing a habit or pattern is a process that requires time, effort, and patience. With a clear goal, a solid plan, and support, you can successfully change any habit or pattern and achieve personal growth.
1. Identify the habit or pattern you want to change - Start by identifying the specific habit or pattern you want to change. Make it a SMART goal: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Write it down and keep it in a visible place to remind yourself of your goal.
2. Understand why you want to change - Understanding your motivation for changing the habit or pattern is essential to stay committed to the process. Ask yourself why you want to change and how it will improve your life.
3. Assess your current situation - Take a close look at your current situation and identify any factors that may be contributing to the habit or pattern. Are there triggers that cause the behavior? Are there external factors that make it difficult to change? Understanding your current situation will help you create a plan to address these factors.
4. Identify the stages of change - As discussed in my last post, the stages of change are pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. Identify where you are in the process and use it as a guide for creating a plan.
5. Seek support - Changing a habit or pattern can be challenging, and it's important to have support. Seek support from friends, family, or a professional such as a life coach or therapist. They can provide encouragement, guidance, and accountability.
6. Monitor your progress - Keep track of your progress regularly. Celebrate small successes, and use setbacks as opportunities to learn and adjust your plan. Regularly evaluating your progress can help you stay motivated and make necessary changes to achieve your goal.
7. Maintain the change - Once you have successfully changed the habit or pattern, it's essential to maintain the change. Develop strategies to stay on track, and be aware of any potential triggers that may lead to relapse.