Love/Relationship Columnist
Get Out of Your Rut in Four Easy Ways
Jul 5, 2014 - 4:11:29 PM

( - If your life has become routine and you have developed bad habits that you know are keeping you stuck, why don't you get out? The answer to that is complicated for many. Too much work, no willpower and not enough time are common excuses. In a study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology researchers found that it wasn't motivation that was the determining factor of who was successful with reaching their goal or habit change. What made the difference was having a clear plan of what you were going to do to change. For example, if you are going to begin working out, over 100 studies have come to the same conclusion. You need to specifically state when and where your new behaviors are going to happen in order to stick to your goal. That means you say aloud to yourself and others when you will work out, how many days of the week, what your workout will consist of, and then prepare and follow through with doing that. The actual plan of what behaviors you were going to do was the key.

The concept of the 21-day challenge is part of the perfect plan. The reason is because you aren't committing for the rest of your life, you are committing to 21 days. Many people who invested themselves in this plan did just that. Why is the plan so effective? According to those who use the challenge to get out of their bad habit rut, say it's easy, it's consistent, and it's time limited. Below are important ways to make it successful for you.

1.      Making your challenge public to as many people as possible will help you keep your commitment.

2.      Writing your commitment or plan down helps solidify it in your daily thoughts, which help you carry it through.

3.      Your healthy habits will transfer to engaging in other behaviors you want to change. Success with a new habit change builds confidence, which prevents you from going back into your rut.

4.      When others see your change their positive response reinforces your behavioral changes.

The key for this challenge is the 21 days. You can do anything for 21 days and consistently preparing and planning to make a change for 21 days will ensure success. Take the challenge, make the change. Ruts may be a safe place to visit, but no one wants to live there. -Mary Jo Rapini

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