Breaking and making habits

Ever wondered why New Year’s resolutions are so hard to stick to? It’s a problem of time and motivation!

Time: a study published by Lally in 2009 found that on average it took a person anywhere between two to eight months to form a habit and stick to it.  This is contrary to the common myth found in self-help books which promote that habits take only 21 days to form. Don’t look at this time frame in despair, habits aren’t an event, they’re a process.  The only way to get to Day 500 is to start with Day 1.  Forget about the number and focus on doing the work.  On the plus side, there’s evidence to suggest that falling off the wagon doesn’t greatly impact on establishing the habit!  So, if you forget to do that morning workout, hope is not lost!

Motivation: you may ‘forget’ to complete your habit because you feel unmotivated. Although forgetting once doesn’t impact too greatly, forgetting for several days will. So, make sure that whatever your new habit, make it important to your life rather than trying for the sake of it!   See more here:

Habit Tracker

Sometimes it is all too easy to focus on the finish line and neglect the process of how you got there. Using this simple tracker, you can monitor your progress towards a goal you set yourself.  There are spaces to add your own below.  Shade in the boxes when you achieve your task each day for two weeks:

  Week One Week Two
  M T W T F S S M T W T F S S
Five portions of fruit/veg                            
No alcohol                            
No smoking                            
Two litres of water                            
Had a brisk walk ten minute walk                            
Rode a bike                            
Did 30 minutes of aerobic exercise                            
Pushed a lawn mover                            
Walked 10,000 steps                            
Played a physically active sport                            
Went for a run                            
Went for a swim                            
Lifted some weights                            
Worked out at a gym                            
Did 20 sit ups                            
Did 20 push ups                            


If you need help to cut down or give up alcohol or smoking, please visit the links below for more information and support.