What if we told you that about 40% of everything you
do in a day is purely because it’s a habit? Brushing your teeth before bed.
Habit. Setting your alarm for the morning. Habit. Making your bed. Habit. Feeding
the cat. Habit.
then is it so hard to form new, healthy habits, like exercising more, or
breaking bad habits, like quitting smoking? Because often our goals are not
specific; when goals are specific, they’re often easier to reach. The
difference is: “I’ll walk 20 minutes a day” instead of “I’ll get more
also not enough to simply have a goal, according to the Harvard
Medical School, you also need practical steps to reach it. For
example, if your goal is to
cut down on snacking, have a plan such as eating smaller meals more regularly
instead of 3 big meals a day and constantly snacking in the long stretch
The 21/90 rule
You’ve probably heard someone say that it takes 21 days
to form a habit. Well, that’s not entirely accurate and omits the second half
of the rule. Yes, it takes 21 days to build (or break) a habit but that has to
be followed by a further 90 days to make it a lifestyle.
Once you’ve set
your goal and defined a strategy, you therefore have to commit to it for 21
days. On day 22 it will be habit. But here’s the trick, you then need to hit
repeat for 90 days. In the course of these 90 days, or 3 months, your new habit
will become a part of your lifestyle.
5 steps to making (or breaking) a habit
Always start small
Break your goal into smaller goals will make it less
daunting. Want to run a marathon? First walk around the block every day. Then
jog around the block and build up to running 3km three days a week. Doing too
much too quickly will almost definitely end in failure.
What’s your excuse? Too tired? Not enough time? Forgot
to pack your gym clothes? Once you’ve identified your usual excuses, you can
If you don’t go to gym because you forgot to pack your
gym clothes, pack them the night before. Not enough hours in the day? Put it in
your diary and treat it like an appointment.
worry about failing
Don’t let failure get in your way of success – we all
fail at some point. If you missed your morning jog for a day, dust yourself
off, accept that you’re only human and go the next morning.
When you measure your progress, you’ll find it easier
to stay motivated. For instance, write down how far you’ve run every day.
Seeing that it took you 2 weeks to get fit enough to go around the block twice
will encourage you to keep going.
Simplify your life, move to Capitec
Another good habit to get into is getting your
spending is under control. Move to Capitec and use the banking app to manage
your money and budget.
This post and content is sponsored, written and provided by Capitec.