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Habits: Your Month-Long Guide To Change.

Here is a four week strategy plan I've put together that you can use to pick up or break a habit. It will ease you in and make you feel more comfortable. Read on and learn more about this strategy!

Habits. We all have them, some good and some bad. Some have lasted our whole life while others we pick up as we go along in life. A habit is basically anything you do automatically, like brushing your teeth in the morning. You are so used to doing it that you don't even need to think about it anymore, it just happens.

In an ideal world, everyone would have the habit of working out on a daily basis and eating a diet full of lean proteins, vegetables, fruit, low fat dairy products and whole grains. Unfortunately it doesn't quite work that way.

We replace what should be good habits with bad habits, such as watching too much TV, using technology to replace anything that uses human power and stuffing our faces with food that offers more taste than nutritional value. And while you may always say you should break that habit, actually doing so is a different story.

Too Much TV
We Replace Good Habits With Bad Ones.
Instead Of Playing Sports, We Simply Watch Them.

You've probably heard that once you do something for 14 days straight, the chances of it becoming a habit are much greater. If you think about that statement you will realize it is quite true.

For the first few days when you start doing something, it feels awkward and out of place. A few more days go by and you start feeling like it's your normal routine and a week later you are starting to feel strange if you don't do it.

Usually it's slightly easier to pick up a new good habit than to break a bad one. Often in life though, picking up a new habit and breaking a bad one go hand in hand. For example, in making the good habit of exercising everyday you are breaking the bad habit of going straight home after work to your reruns of The Family Guy.

There is a strategy to make this easier on you. Below are the steps you need to make to pick up or break a habit. They will ease you into it and make you feel more comfortable with the adjustments that are taking place. After the month is up, you should be well on your way to living with or without your target behavior.

A Month To Change

Week 1:

    Nothing is going to change this week. Whew! I know that's what you're thinking. Generally with any behavior change, the anticipation of having to change part of your routine will cause a great deal of anxiety. So if this is what you are feeling, RELAX, it's normal.

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    What you need to do this week, while you go about your day is think about how your life will be different once you have implanted the new behavior. Think about how your schedule will change, how you may feel differently and if there will be any side effects you may be feeling. This will psychologically get you prepared for the changes ahead and give you a better idea what you can expect.

Week 2:

    This is the halfway week. Everyday this week, you need to give about a half effort of what your behavior is that you are trying to implement. For example, if it's dietary changes, make a few modifications at your meals, but still include a few of your unhealthier choices to make it easier on yourself.

    Or, if you are trying to quit smoking for example, cut back to half of what you were smoking. This will make the adjustment process easier on yourself knowing that you are only expected to give half your effort.

How Many Packs Do You Smoke Each Day? (Ex. 2 or 0.5)
Average Cost Per Pack? $ (Ex. 2.50)
Press Calculate To View Results Below
If You Quit, You Will Save $ per year!

Week 3:

    This is the week where you are going to make a conscious effort on implementing the behavior change. Be patient with yourself if you don't succeed 100% everyday. No one is perfect.

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    Allow for a mistake but get right back on again. Do not let minor set-backs effect you so much you just throw in the towel, you are more than halfway to the new you and that is an accomplishment in itself.

Week 4:

    The last week of the month! You made it! Now you have given your full effort last week to make or break your goal habit and hopefully things are going well. Now all you do is to maintain it. It may help to put up reminders somewhere around your house as to why you want to sustain this change so you are not as tempted to slip back into your old ways. If you do see yourself slipping, correct it immediately!

    The longer you let yourself relapse the harder it will be to get back on track again. If you find that you just cannot handle this change fully and it is not happening, that is alright, realize you might have bitten of more than you could chew.

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    Go back to step one and redefine your target habit, making it a little easier or a little less intense. Just do not give up. Eventually you will get to where you want to be, it just takes time and perseverance.

How Long Does It Take You To Break A Bad Habit?

The Moment I Stop, It's Broken.
One Week.
Two Weeks.
Three Weeks.
Four Weeks.
I've Never Broken A Bad Habit.


So take a good look at your current lifestyle and ask yourself if there is anything you feel you would like to change or add. I'm willing to bet there is, as everyone should always be seeking some type of self-improvement. Make it a goal of yours to choose one small thing every month and go through each of these steps. You will be amazed the personal growth you will experience in a years time if you make this your next good habit!

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