The first few weeks of starting something new are always the hardest part. We can all agree on that, but why are positive changes for our well-being so difficult to stick to? When does it get easier? How do we know the difference between pushing through and forcing what’s not meant to be?
This blog is going to break it all down once and for all by unpacking each stage involved in building and maintaining the habits required to achieve a happy, and healthy lifestyle.
Contrary to what a lot of experts say, it actually takes 30 days to create a habit that you will stick to (not 21 days).
These experts aren’t completely off the mark. It does take three weeks to FORM a habit but as you will discover by reading on, this is just one of the three phases of successfully sticking to it. We have adopted Hal Erod’s 30-day strategy of creating a habit, from his book Miracle Morning, and found it to ring very true with our members.
As mentioned, Elrod believes there are three distinct phases. We have broken down each phase below to help you adapt to your healthier lifestyle. Pay special attention to the summary of Phase three, as this is the most transformative phase and what so many others fail to implement.
For the purpose of this blog, we are going to us starting Reformer Pilates as our example.
Imagine you have just signed up for Pilates. You are pumped up about your decision, fully convinced that this time will be different. Nothing will get in the way of your new healthy lifestyle!
… A couple of days pass. Alas, the “new and exciting” hype wears off – and it feels almost unbearable. Your mind and body resist the change, telling you things like:
I hate this.
I am in pain.
I’m too tired today, I’ll be better off starting tomorrow.
I am too sore.
It’s not for me.
The level of self-talk and determination required to prove to yourself that you CAN in fact do it by showing up for class makes completing this phase extremely satisfying.
Now you have developed some confidence and positive associations with your new habit, this phase is considerably easier. But, as your past experiences have likely shown you, it’s still not exactly a walk in the park.
At this stage you are tempted to fall back into your old ways, saying things like:
I’ve worked hard this week, I might skip Pilates today…
Elrod called this phase uncomfortable for a reason. But trust us, staying committed pays off. Let the endorphins flow!
Welcome to the home stretch! The unstoppable phase! This is where you positively reinforce your habit and is crucial to maintaining it in the long term.
You have now started to transform. The final 10 days is where your healthy Pilates habits become a part of your identity – taking you from something you’re trying to who you’re becoming.
In summary, creating new habits is no walk in the park… If it were, we would all be living healthy, organised, enriched lives, wouldn’t we?
The exciting news is, that can be you!
Elrod’s framework is empowering. It shows that resisting your new habit is normal and the fact that you are, is a sign that you are on the right track. You can’t skip the phases, but you can prepare for them, which will allow you to push through the discomfort and become unstoppable.
Want to start a healthy habit? Try Reformer Pilates! Contact our team to book your free body assessment to see if is right for you.