Friday, March 25, 2016

Inching Forward

Sticking to the commitment to making changes in our life isn't always an easy decision. The early days of new behaviors are tough as we retrain our mind and body to behave differently. Our old habits threaten to overtake our new desires and we can become discouraged by the difficulty of this change. There are different studies that suggest it takes 21 days for a new habit to take effect, but I've also seen some that suggest it is closer to 66 days before something is ingrained. I think the exact number might be different for each of us, but there is one common element that helps us keep going--seeing positive results.

When we start to see even small, incremental progress from our new behaviors this encourages us to stay on this new track. Our relationships might start to improve because we've committed to approaching things with a more peaceful attitude. A new runner is able to run for 1/2 mile when that wasn't a possibility before. Changes in muscle tone become more evident after struggling to complete repetitions. Kicking a smoking habit is a bit easier when the cravings start to lessen even if they haven't disappeared completely.

Positive progress makes us aware that what we are doing is working. We all need forward momentum or we'll get discouraged and quit before we can create new, healthier habits.

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