Is it really that simple to change in just 28 days? Could you change ‘your’ habits in just 28 days?
Everyone knows it takes, mmm how many days to change a habit? It might take you 21 days, or it could take 365. The truth is we are all different, and the time taken to change a habit will vary, because each of us is unique and has had different life experiences.
What I do know is this. Given the right ingredients, which include your desire to change, taking action, asking for support, understanding how you do things, calling on your inner resources and sticking at this thing you want to change — you can change.
Some habits are harder than others to implement. As I write this, I am giving up sugar for life. I have a personal reason that affects my health and well-being, and I will do it. How long will it take me? I hear you ask. I ate the last shop bought gluten-free brownie and that is me.
You may wonder how I can be certain. Let me tell you; it’s as simple as, I will do it because this is the kind of person I am. When I make a decision about my health, well-being, self-care, and self-love, I take action.
It doesn’t mean that it’s easy; it means that it is important to me. And that’s the thing, if it is important, you will do it, and if it isn’t, you will procrastinate. When you set your goals and put them in order of importance (I rate mine each month), you will find that you are more focused.
And anyway why would you write a goal and not want it? Ok, that’s one for the journal.
When Mel Wakeman and I designed 28 Days To A New You, we recognised that this could only ever be a kick-start. We knew that without a crystal ball we could not predict who and that includes us, would make any lasting changes.
We designed so that each of us could take a good hard look at ourselves and make some conscious decisions about what we want.
When you know what you want, you can move towards it.
The key I think is to create better habits a step at a time rather than go at it like a bull in a china shop and say it’s all or nothing. I like the idea of being gentle with myself. If you start with habit-changing actions now and fall off the wagon, you don’t have so far to go next time around — do you? Unless you are duty-bound and headed for complete self-destruction and I hope that you are not.
After I’d made the no more delicious brownies, I started to crave sugar, but there was nothing in my house save organic peanut butter and fruit. It didn’t work, I wanted cake. I knew that I could go and ask friends to give me sweets, I could drive 30 minutes to the nearest shop, or I could get off my backside and make a healthy cake.
By 8 pm I was making a cake. It was a bit of a faff as I didn’t have enough rice flour, but I mixed in all kinds of other stuff and went for it. 45 minutes later, one healthy cake and a very happy me.
I love the saying done is better than perfect and the Salvadore Dali quote which says ‘have no fear of perfection, because you will never reach it.’ I think he means that perfection is an ever-moving target. So do your best, learn, let go of what doesn’t work, review and carry on.
I also believe that we are already perfect so why strive to be something you already are?
Of course, the habit you desire to change can also morph into something else along the way. If you are journaling and reflecting, which I also hope that you are, you will get some great aha’s.
I look at my sugar thing as more of an ‘I’m creating a healthy body’ rather than I am giving something up. I am very much a towards person. What about you?
Knowing what kind of a person you are could be one of your aha’s.
When you get aha’s, what you will know is that next month when you come to review your goals, desires, and intentions, you can amend them in line with what you have learned.
Changing habits is a process and not a destination. Yes, I want to never eat sugar again, and I might slip in a cheeky dessert when out one night, but that doesn’t mean that I have failed, more that on my journey, I have accepted that I may indulge. As soon as I have and I will enjoy it, I shall be back to my ‘normal’ way of life.
What I have done is to set an intention, which includes enjoying the journey. Along the way, I’ll do things like look at cake recipes that I can change to suit my way of eating, I’ll enjoy experimenting and I’ll find other ways of satisfying my needs. I want this to be fun and not something to beat myself up with. You can adopt this attitude too.
The key to moving forward is to decide that this is day one, choose what has to be done and do it until you feel satisfied that you have achieved your goal.
What you will find it that as you dive into your 28-day kick-start, you’ll probably feel more motivated than say in 35 days. That’s why I recommend that every 28 days to do a reset and look at where you are and what you want to create. Plus if you ask yourself how important is this, you can gauge if this is still the same thing or there are things you want to change.
The keys are to be kind you, remain open-hearted and minded, be flexible and use your feedback to make more informed conscious decisions next time.
Try this 28-day exercise
- Grab your journal. It’s day 1 and I invite you to write your goal and make it SMART, add in how you will feel, and what you will see and know when you achieve it.
- Take a 10-minute break.
- Close your eyes, take your hands to your heart, now see yourself in whatever way works for you telling a best friend what you have achieved in just 28 days.
- Tell him and her some of the obstacles that you overcame and what amazing skills and talents you used. Share how it feels to come this far and what you will be doing next.
- Open your journal and write about this experience.
- What do you learn?
Come and join Mel and me on our next 28 Days To A New You Adventure and be supported through the first of what could be a series of 28-day transformational blocks.
We will take you through our four pillars:-
- Week 1: Reset your focus and relaunch your motivation with MINDSET
- Week 2: Rejuvenate your life and find joy with JUICY LIFE
- Week 3: Renourish your body, mind, and soul and energise with NOURISH ME
- Week 4: Release all that is holding you back, so you are free to thrive with DECLUTTER
There will be loads of support, plenty of journaling to help you see life through a different lens and of course nutritional advice.
Originally published at https://journaling.online on August 18, 2019.