Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Creating Positive Habits

Last week we looked at the impact positive habits can have on virtually every aspect of our lives. So how do you go about adding new positive habits to your life? It's really quite easy. You simply begin repeating an action, attitude or thought process every day for at least 21 days. Research has shown that an action that is repeated for a minimum of 21 days is likely to become a permanent habit. But be careful – from my experience it takes much less than 21 days to lose a good habit, like walking the dog. When life gets challenging and I can’t do the daily good things I usually do for myself, such as going to the gym, I make it a point to go at least once a week. This way the habit is maintained, and it’s much easier to get back on schedule when things settle down.

Another way to incorporate a positive habit in your life is to swap one habit for another. Say dessert is a habit you enjoy, but would like to eliminate or at least reduce. You might consider swapping your typical dessert for something you’ll still enjoy, but would have had as part of your meal, such as a cup of flavored low fat yogurt or fresh fruit with ½ ounce of chopped walnuts on top. Consuming this food at the end of your meal or even later in the evening would make it feel like dessert, without the extra calories and being a lot healthier.

Remember that positive habits have positive benefits, and you will reap those benefits for as long as you maintain that habit. So think about one positive habit you'd like to acquire, and begin today to put it into action!

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