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How to speed up Habit Formation

 

There is a myth out there that it takes 21 days to form a habit.

Studies show that habit formation takes 66 days on average but this all depends on the person, the habit, motivation, ability etc.

Regardless of the result of the habit formation timeframe, there is one way to speed up the habit formation process… without lifting a finger.

 

No, my cheese has not slipped off my cracker, it’s true!

 

As you are aware, habits are created through repetition of a behaviour or action. This repetition forms or strengthens neural pathways in the brain.

In order to change a habit, it is recommended that you change the routine but maintain the cue/trigger and the reward.
Experts advise that you complete the behaviour everyday as consistency is key.

 

Time is limited.

 

I have things to do, people to see and a lack of discipline. Many factors can limit the amount of time we can physically spend on the behaviour.
Here comes the magic…

Mental practice physically affects the brain as much as physical action!

Yes, if you think and see yourself doing something in your mind (visualization) then the brain changes as much as if you were physically doing the action.
You can build and strengthen neural pathways (and therefore, Habits) by merely practicing the action in your mind. Now that is a great habit hack.

Now that is a great habit hack.

You can drastically expedite your results by visualizing yourself completing the desired actions! It’s not just new age fluff!
Tip:

Make visualization into a habit by adding it to your morning routine. After you brush your teeth, take just 2 minutes to close your eyes and see yourself achieving your goal in addition to completing the steps that will get you there.

Sometimes the simple things are underrated and this is one of them.

Try it. If in doubt, check out this study on the Benefits of Combined Mental and Physical Training in Learning a Complex Motor Skill in Basketball.

The study showed the benefits of combining mental and physical training in learning a complex motor skill in basketball. Participants were randomly assigned to either mental practice with physical training, or physical training alone. Motor performance was assessed before and after a four-week training period. Results showed that mental practice condition improved coordination and movement accuracy.

There are numerous studies to support the effectiveness of mental practice.