I trust you enjoyed your holidays and as a new year unfolds it’s a great time for reflection and forward planning.

We are going to look at why many new year resolutions don’t work and a different approach to achieving the change you really want to make

Sometime between Xmas and midnight December 31 chances are you will decide on something (or a number of things) you want to change for the forthcoming year.

Most will be doomed to fail especially the ‘give up smoking, give up drinking’ ones that one minute after midnight you are ‘just having the last one’!

Typically though many of our resolutions are making changes to old habits and creating new ones in their place.

We are totally serious about making these changes however somehow they just don’t last.

Most common lists:

  • Lose weight
  • Get fit, join the gym
  • Eat more healthily
  • Give up smoking
  • Drink more water, less alcohol
  • Save money
  • More ‘me’ time
  • More ‘family’ time
  • Make a Will!

Regardless of what the change is let’s look at some reasons why it doesn’t work.

  • Resolution made with negative thoughts (it’s gonna be really hard)
  • Dependent on other factors or people
  • May involve financial outlay
  • Too many resolutions (hard enough to change one habit!)
  • Cannot see the long term benefit (not immediately)
  • Lack of encouragement from others reducing motivation
  • Expectation will change quickly, easily

So how do we make it work?

It’s worth looking at how change, especially massive change, takes ‘muscle’ and commitment to effect.

We all have habits, ingrained lifetime habits, some we don’t even realise we have.

They have taken years to form and are second nature.

Try this:

Next time you put a blouse, shirt, dress on check which are goes in first. Then try and do it with the opposite one.

Try it with your skirt, trousers, shorts. Which leg goes first? Try the other, don’t fall over! Lol

Is it reasonable then to expect to change them in an instant?!

Let’s get a bit scientific in order to understand what it takes to change old habits and form new ones.

This will help you see why a new year resolution is not an instant fix!

Maxwell Maltz was a plastic surgeon in the 1950s when he began noticing a strange pattern among his patients.

When Dr. Maltz would perform an operation — like a nose job, for example — he found that it would take the patient about 21 days to get used to seeing their new face. Similarly, when a patient had an arm or a leg amputated, Maltz noticed that the patient would sense a phantom limb for about 21 days before adjusting to the new situation.

These experiences prompted Maltz to think about his own adjustment period to changes and new behaviors, and he noticed that it also took himself about 21 days to form a new habit. Maltz wrote about these experiences and said, “These, and many other commonly observed phenomena tend to show that it requires a minimum of about 21 days for an old mental image to dissolve and a new one to jell.”

You see you are literally retiring your brain to change old to new.

There was a problem with Dr. Maltz’s 21 day theory however as this simply referred to ‘accepting’ the changes he had initial in his patients.

Fast forward to modern times:

How Long it REALLY Takes to Build a New Habit

Phillippa Lally is a health psychology researcher at University College London. In a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, Lally and her research team decided to figure out just how long it actually takes to form a habit.

The study examined the habits of 96 people over a 12-week period. Each person chose one new habit for the 12 weeks and reported each day on whether or not they did the behavior and how automatic the behavior felt.

Some people chose simple habits like “drinking a bottle of water with lunch.” Others chose more difficult tasks like “running for 15 minutes before dinner.” At the end of the 12 weeks, the researchers analyzed the data to determine how long it took each person to go from starting a new behavior to automatically doing it.

The answer?

On average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact. 

And how long it takes a new habit to form can vary widely depending on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances.

In Lally’s study, it took anywhere from 18 days to 254 days for people to form a new habit.

In other words, if you want to set your expectations appropriately, the truth is that it will probably take you anywhere from two months to eight months to build a new behavior into your life — not 21 days.

Interestingly, the researchers also found that “missing one opportunity to perform the behavior did not materially affect the habit formation process.”

In other words, DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP IF YOU HAVE AN OFF DAY! 

It doesn’t matter if you mess up every now and then. Building better habits is not an all-or-nothing process.

So to conclude here are a few tips to making those changes you REALLY REALLY want to make.

  1. If you have a ‘list’ prioritise them and do one at a time
  2. Be patient!
  3. See the benefit every day that goes by
  4. CONGRATULATE and reward yourself!
  5. Imagine and visualise the long term benefit of what you going to achieve

We call them New YEAR resolutions so if it takes the whole year then your resolution has been achieved!

Imagine you could make all the positive changes you want throughout the year to transform your life!

Finally if making a Will, or updating your existing Will is on your ‘to do list’ call us on 9368 1337 or email us and we will get this done for you.

Home visit, 8am – 8pm seven days a week, fixed prices and all done in a professional, fast, friendly and efficient way.

Don’t delay, make a Will today!

Best wishes for 2018

From the Team at HomeVisitWills