Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation

Beginning the Academic Essay

Have you ever tried to start a new life on Monday? Or from the New Year?

Approximately 81 to 92 percent of attempts to start a new habit with the New Year fail. Eight times out of ten we throw.

It’s difficult to change behavior, it’s a fact.

Why?

What errors prevent you from creating new habits? And what can you do to not fall through again?

I want to talk about my experience and share tips that help me the best.

Mistake No. 1. Too many habits at once
So much to do, so many habits to fix! Right now! I want to change everything at once.

And what does this lead to?

We’re trying to bite off too much. We can not chew it. And as a result we throw, because we do not cope.

It is necessary to understand: to develop habits is difficult .

Over time, you will have a skill, and you better understand how the habit is arranged and what you need to do. Everything will become easier, and the development of habits will turn into an understandable and even fascinating process .

It’s like riding a bicycle. When you have learned, everything turns out to be easy and simple, almost by itself. You just have to keep your balance and pedal.

But at first it is difficult.

The organism creates new neural connections, learns to do something new and unusual. It’s easier for him to quit, and return to the usual routine. New habits require attention. And other forces – both physical and mental.

Trying to train several habits at once, we just put an impossible task on the body.

He does not cope – and goes into denial.

Why? To save energy – and suddenly have to save a life or something? He acts according to the evolutionary program – he rests at the first opportunity. Millions of years of evolution can not be fooled.

Therefore, our task is to include the brain and create suitable conditions for a new habit. And to put on an exhausted unhealthy way of life the body has many habits at once – this is a bad strategy.

A bad strategy that does not work.

Solution: Choose one habit at a time, and finish it.

Useful advice: it is better to choose a key habit .

Mistake # 2. Too big a piece at a time
This error is the continuation of the first. She has the same motive:

I want a new difficult habit right now.

Give me pills from greed. And more!

Run every day for 10 km. Meditate every day by the hour. At once there is only healthy food. Lose weight for a month at 10 kg. Quit completely procrastinate. Never be late for important meetings, etc.

All these are wonderful and useful habits. There is only one but.

Habits – they are like muscles. Do not occur instantly. They need to grow – slowly, gradually, training again and again.

This is not an instant feat, but a gradual development. Do not raise 80 kg at once, or run 10 km. First – start running for at least 2 minutes.

This error has one very unpleasant side effect .

It’s not just that we just gave up one habit. Again. The most unpleasant thing is that we begin to believe, we will not succeed. We begin to scold ourselves. We begin to believe that we can not cope.

Loser! We say to ourselves. “You can not even create an elementary habit!” What can you do? Well, what are you …?

As a result, a new habit arises! Only not the one you wanted.

The habit of believing that we can not bring things to an end. The habit of throwing halfway. Not because they decided so – but because they could not and did not cope. And each new failure only strengthens it.

Therefore, you do not need to bite more than you can chew.

Start small. Gradually get involved. And only then increase the dose. This is especially important at first.

Remember, like on a bicycle: first you need to learn how to ride, and then arrange races over rough terrain.

Want to eat healthier? Eat an apple at night instead of a donut.
Do you want to learn how to do pushups 50 times? Start with 3 push-ups per day.
Want to read more? Start at 1 page every night.
Do you want to start meditating? Start with 2 minutes a day.
Solution: Begin with minimal effort. Make it so simple that you can not say no.

Helpful Hint: “Short Guide to Habits” may be useful to you.

Mistake # 3. Missed several times – and throw
We missed 1-2 days – and everything, we throw. Well, again, nothing happened. Horror-horror-horror!

The most important thing to remember is that there are failures in developing habits for everyone!

I have it regularly. And this absolutely does not interfere with the creation of a new habit.

On the contrary. You understand that this is a complicated matter. And this makes you feel even cooler. Here, I could not. But then I coped. Cool!

Dips happen at all. The law of life, the mystery of the ages.

Sometimes this is completely our fault. Just forgotten. Just could not get together. Or sick. Or a dozen more reasons.

Sometimes other people get in the way. At me here one relative has run in, has found out all mood – and for two weeks the usual rhythm has lost.

The mistake is to start scolding yourself with the cries of “again the deuce did not work!”.

That’s right – just calm down. And with a clear conscience continue. In a day or couple of weeks. With new strength, after a good rest.

Maybe this is generally the main thing in the habits : when you throw, do not stop believing that it will turn out. And continue.

Sometimes you need to change tactics, sometimes start over, sometimes just relax and continue.

Solution: Missed a few days? Just go back – and continue your quest.

Useful advice: how to return if we are slightly lost .

Mistake ? 4. We do not change our environment
Adhering to good habits in bad conditions is very difficult, almost impossible. In any sphere. For example:

It is almost impossible to eat healthy food if you are constantly surrounded by cakes, sweets and other joys of unhealthy food.
It is almost impossible to remain in a good mood if you are constantly surrounded by negative comrades and other whiners.
It is almost impossible to concentrate on one task, if you are constantly distracted by notices, letters and calls.
It is almost impossible not to drink, if you are constantly surrounded by alcoholic beverages, and drinking companions.
And so on.
We rarely recognize (or even realize), but our behavior is often a simple reaction to the environment in which we find ourselves.

Our habitual way of life, and all your habits – in many ways the product of the environment in which we live.

The biggest help for a new habit is the environment that will help her.

For example, you want to lead a more purposeful and quiet life.

What’s happening?

Morning. You wake up from the alarm on your phone. Take the phone, turn off the signal, and start checking the mail, twitter or facebook.

You have not yet got out of bed, but have already read a dozen reports. Maybe even answered some. All these headlines, urgent news and messages are spinning in your mind. You have not yet dressed, but have already distracted and feel stress.

What can I do to change my habit?

Just remove the phone from the room. Get a good old alarm clock – and take the cell phone away. At least, away from the bed.

Do you want to work hard? Turn off notifications. Do not check the mail. Remove unnecessary applications from the screen, etc.
Do you want to go to the fitness club more often? Prepare a bag with a form the night before.
Do you want to start running? Put the form on a chair and put a number of sneakers. All you need is just to get dressed and leave the house.
Do you want to meditate in the morning? Prepare the mat in advance – to start, you just need to sit on it.
If your environment does not change, it will also be difficult for you to change.

Solution: create an environment that helps a new habit.

Helpful Hint: How many days does it take to create a new habit?

Error number 5. Choose a habit that we do not like
A very important question about habits, which is often underestimated.

There are many ways to any goal.

Do not choose a habit that you do not like. In this world and so enough difficulties, there is no need to add new ones. Why torture yourself extra?

If you do not like the new habit, you have to force yourself. Include willpower. For a while you are missing. But sooner or later there will come a moment of weakness, uncertainty, doubt. Willpower turns off its grip and you throw.

Combine business with pleasure. Choose a habit that you like and benefits.

Do not force yourself to run, if you do not want to. There are hundreds of classes that will help you be in shape. Go to the gym, or to yoga, or to dance. Do rock climbing, or ride a bike, or just walk leisurely to your favorite music.

Look at this as an experiment, or a quest, or a game: you need to find what you would like to do. What you and so want to do. And it helps to achieve your goal.

Often this requires not so much to seek as to remember. What you already love, and that you would like to continue. Or try again.

For this, no willpower is needed. You need to make the right choice – and show a little perseverance.

Solution: Treat your new habit as an experiment. And find one that you like.

Good advice from Thomas Jefferson: “What we do willingly does not seem difficult .”

Find what works for you, and what works best for you. Get rid of what’s stopping. And use a new habit to make your life better. Such as you want.

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