What Research Shows Us about Changing Habits

changing habits

Do you have some habits that you’d like to change?

A long time ago, Ray Kroc (former owner of the San Diego Padres and founder of McDonald’s) said, “When you’re green, your growing. When you’re ripe, you rot.”

In other words, living a successful life requires consistent improvement. While this is sometimes easy, often changing habits like the way you eat, or the amount of exercise you do or the way you save money can be a challenge.

You might be frustrated if you struggle with habit change. You might think, “I’ve tried so hard to change this habit, why do I keep falling back to my old one?”

If this is you don’t despair. Research has revealed some ways you can establish news, positive habits that you can pull up automatically.

Research and Changing Habits

Over the past decade or so, the science of habit formation has exploded. It is now a major field of study at many universities as well as major corporations like Proctor and Gamble and Target.

Some of the findings have been fascinating. I have read for many years now that habits can be formed in a fairly short period of time, within 3 to 4 weeks (21 to 30 days).

I’m beginning to rethink this idea because a researcher at University College London, Phillippa Lally determined that you actually must do an activity for a much longer period of time. According to Lally’s research, if you want to do a behavior automatically, you have to consecutively repeat it for 66 days.

How to Create a New Habit

All research suggests that the best way to form a habit is to make the desired behavior cue-dependant. In other words, in order to get a new behavior you must have a cue to remind you to perform whatever action is necessary.

These cues can be either situational, (such as your environment or location) or contextual (based on something else that you do).


Consistency is another important part of habit formation. While missing a day every once in a while might be okay, research has found that you need to go right back to performing the desired action.

While researchers don’t know exactly how many times you can skip your behavior and still form a habit, they stress if you’re too inconsistent, your new behavior won’t become automatic (see step 5).

Here’s How to Use Lally’s Research for Changing Habits

1. Decide on the habit you want to establish

For example, “I keep track of all the calories I eat” or “I exercise at least 30 minutes a day.”

2. Commit to repeating your new habit

All change requires commitment. If you want to develop a new habit commit to doing your behavior over and over again for 66 days.

3. Decide on a cue

The first part of habit forming is having a cue. Have some object or decide on a time of day that you’ll perform your new behavior.

Don’t think you’ll just magically do the behavior. Habits aren’t formed this way, especially if you’re rushed or busy. Cues are effective reminders to help you as you work on bettering yourself.

4. Decide where you going to start (and continue) your new behavior

Associating a location with your new behavior can help you cement your new habit in place. Is it going to be at home, in the part, at your office? Sticking to the same location until the habit forms increases your likelihood of success.

5.  Don’t skip any days

If at all possible stay the course and don’t skip any days.

6. Notice your new habit

Sometimes when an activity becomes automatic you won’t even notice. So as you notice that you’re doing your new habit automatically congratulate yourself. You’ve achieved success at last!

7. If you need help, get it!

Some old habits are hard to break just as some new habits are hard to form. If you are having difficulty with either breaking or making habits get help! Good helpers for habit forming can be personal coaches, therapist, hypnotherapists and Neuro Linguistic Programming practitioners.

Start Today

This research is but one of the many studies that have been done around changing habits and adopting new behaviors. Dedicating yourself to your new habit for 66 days can put you on the fast track to a better you.


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Use Hypnosis and NLP for Changing Habits?

Do you have some habits you’d like to change? Would you like to be better able to drop some old bad habits and develop some new good ones?

Tools that are extremely powerful for developing good habits are Neuro Linguistic programming and hypnotherapy. These powerful methods have helped millions around the world shift their thinking, allowing them to change their lives.

To help you understand the power of these tools I’d like to give you a FREE Hypnosis Recording. I’d also like to give you a complete report that explains how you can develop your full potential by using Neuro Linguistic programming and hypnotherapy to harness the power of your subconscious mind.

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About the Author

Wil Dieck is the founder of Total Mind Therapy©, a system that uses Neuro Emotional Conditioning (NEC©), a process that combines advanced hypnotherapy (hypnosis), NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming techniques and the deep breathing meditative breathing techniques from Qigong, a Chinese Martial Art into a highly effective healing and transformation process.

For more information on Wil and NEC© just follow this link…