So – it’s the third week of January. How are all your new year’s resolutions going? Chances are, some of them have already slipped. If you put too much pressure on yourself, you set yourself up to fail. Short term gains do not create a healthy lifestyle, so it is important to see how incorporating regular, gentle exercise into your daily life, can become a habit and therefore make a real, long-term change to your life.
How long does it take to form a new habit?
Researchers at University College London, recently conducted an enlightening study on habit formation. Participants performed a self-chosen, health-promoting dietary or activity behaviour, like drinking a glass of water, in response to a once-daily cue, like after breakfast, and gave daily self-reports of how automatic the behaviour felt. On average it took 66 days for the participants to start a habit. (That’s March 6 if you are attempting a New Year’s resolution).
Can I miss a day?
Popular belief has seemed to suggest that missing a day in the habit formation process meant you had to start over from day one. The study stated that,
“Missing one opportunity to perform the behaviour did not materially affect the habit formation process.”
What this means is, if you miss a day in trying to start a new habit, don’t put yourself on a guilt trip. Just keep trying; you’ll eventually get there.
So whether you are trying to eat 4 servings of fruit everyday, or walk 20 minutes a day, keep trying. You will eventually get there. And don’t get discouraged if it takes more than 66 days.
So, what can you do to kickstart this habit?
Why not sign up here to my 30 day Pilates Challenge course? For a special price of just £9.99 (usual price £11 per month) you will receive a daily video to practise in the comfort of your own home, the opportunity to join our online community via Facebook or WhatsApp to help with accountability, motivation and to share tips and stories. Pilates can help relieve pain, increase core strength and flexibility and increase strength and stability. A comment from a recent sign-up:
“Me and my 12 year old are doing the videos each night before he goes to bed. It’s helping him to go to sleep so it’s definitely working!” LV, Portsmouth
So, with my 30 day Pilates Challenge, building that new habit may just be a little easier….
Squeeze and breathe,
Love Hannah x