28 day routines

“A nail is driven out by another nail.

A habit is overcome by another habit”

Latin Proverb

Some people suggest it takes just 30 days. Some will tell you it takes 30 days and a few will tell you it takes 90 days. The most commonly held belief is that any habit can be kicked with a daily plan lasting 28 days. Whether it is kicking a bad habit or trying to adopt a new, healthy one such as; a daily exercise routine; getting back into regular reading, meditating, learning a language, what ever it is, repeat this activity everyday for 28 days and 99 times out of a 100 it will stick. This concept first seemed to appear in a book called Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz in 1960. In addition to putting forward the 30-day habit breaking theory, the book also postulated that a person must have an accurate and positive view of his or her self before setting goals; otherwise he or she will get stuck in a continuing pattern of limiting beliefs. And what is key is to stop thinking of habits as bad. Habits are only ‘bad habits’ if they are detrimental to us or those around us. Any habit that contributes in a positive way to our physical or mental health and our lives must be good! And this is where the 28 day routine comes in. Find something you want to achieve regularly and build it into a 28 day routine. After that, most likely as not, it won’t be difficult to continue with it, as by then it’ll be a habit. Breaking a bad habit can be tough. But building a new positive habit can be tougher still. Getting In the Right Mindset Getting ready to break a bad habit is tough, and getting in the right mindset to break a habit in just a month is even tougher. Why not try some kind of reward scheme for the 28 days. If there is a particular type of cookie you like, buy a pack of 28. Maybe there is a series of films or televison programmes on DVD you like, so buy each one for each day and build the box set. Hiram of Balanced Health Blueprint has a clever trick for tracking your daily progress in your quest to break a bad habit. Take 3 coins (or tokens or buttons, but really, coins are best) and label them 1-30 with a washable magic marker. For every day that passes and you don’t indulge in your bad habit, drop a coin in a jar. If you make it to

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30 days, buy yourself something small, but symbolic, with the coins to celebrate your triumph. But if you backslide, Hiram says, “Start over. Take your container and hold it up so you can see it clearly. Take a close look at all the coins inside representing your progress. Now dump out all the coins and start over.” You should think of the habit-breaking process like a marathon. Every step you make towards your goal over a 30 day period gets you closer to the finish line. The 28 day routine should not be under estimated. It is a very powerful technique and experience by many different people has bourn this out. But build a proper routine and give some thought to how you will support and reward yourself through this period. It will not be easy, of course. If it was you’d have achieved it by now. And when you get to the end of those 28 days just think how pleased you will be, and better still, how amazed and impressed everyone else will be!

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