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  • Writer's pictureTomeki Davis

Day 21 - Mental Health Awareness Month (Habits)

How long does it take to create a habit!


Welcome back! It is a terrific Tuesday and the 21st day of Mental Health Awareness month. It is also the perfect day to talk about habits. For years it has been widely stated that it typically takes 21 days of consistent behavior to form a habit. Every year on January 1st, like clockwork, someone urges us to start the year off right by working out each day.  The promise, or money-back guarantee, is that if we make it 3 weeks, or 21 straight days, something magical will occur. As if we have been sprinkled with fairy dust or zapped by a magic wand,  after the 21st straight day of exercise we will be compelled to continue to work out on a regular basis. Oh, how I wish this was true. However, it is not entirely wrong.

 

Although we now know that habits don’t permanently take root after 21 days, there is some accuracy to that specific amount of time being a key component to making long lasting changes. In psychology, this is referenced in the 21/90 rule. According to this model, if you commit to a goal for 21 days it will in fact become a habit. To make the focus of your goal, i.e. the change you want to occur, a part of your lifestyle, you must commit for 90 days. Essentially, the first 21 days lay the groundwork for change but consistent effort towards that goal must continue for the duration of 90 days in order for longstanding lifestyle change to occur. Before we get to work on creating some lasting habits, let’s review.

 

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that perception is reality. I even referred to perception as a superpower. Well, I truly believe that perception is a superpower. It can affect not only our lives but the lives of everyone we encounter. The effects can be affirming if our perception is typically positive or even optimistic. However, if our perception is typically negative, it can have a detrimental impact on ourselves and others. Perception yields a lot of power so it’s important to learn how to use it properly.  The first thing we need to do is make sure that we are not viewing everything we encounter through a negatively skewed lens. For some of us, that means we will need to change the way we perceive things so that our reality might also change. I recognize that for many reasons, this can be much easier said than done. It will likely take a lot of consistent practice. Hence, the focus of today’s post. Are you ready to commit to reshaping your perception over the next 21-90 days? If you’re open to the idea, I look forward to seeing you tomorrow. We ride at dawn!



Mental Health Awareness Month

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