The toughest part of any new habit is coming through the first month, particularly the 1st several days. When you've made it through those first 30 days, it's much easier to continue as you've overpowered inertia.
When we think about changing a habit for good, we frequently psych ourselves out before we begin. Believing we have to give something up for a lifespan is too overpowering to even consider. Enter the 30 -day test. Instead of committing to a lasting change, your goal is to make a littler temporary allegiance.
Test your new habit for only 30 days. After that you're free to stop and go back to your old ways. It's simply one month out of your life. That isn't so tough, is it?
A 30-day trial still demands a little discipline and persistence, but not nearly as much as a lasting shift as you may always see the end of the tunnel. You've an assured escape if matters don't work out. Any forfeiture or loss you suffer is temporary. You’re fully free to go back to your old ways on.
What happens when you truly finish a 30-day test? Firstly, you'll have gone far enough to make your fresh behavior a habit, making it easier to carry on if you want. Second, you'll break your old pattern in that area, so your older habits won't wield as much power on your behavior.
Third, you'll have 30 days of success behind you, so you'll already have shown yourself you can achieve this. And fourth, you'll have enjoyed 30 days' worth of results, and if those results are favorable, you'll be more motivated to retain the habit.
At the end of your 30-day test, your power to continue in your fresh habit is a lot greater than it was at the outset of your trial. If you're prepared to make the habit lasting, you may find it reasonably easy to continue, as momentum is now with you.
If you don't feel prepared to make that sort of allegiance, though, you might extend your test to 60 or 90 days. The longer your trial period, the simpler it will be to lock in the new habit.
Feel free to adjust the concept to fit your stage of discipline. Let yourself be challenged but not overwhelmed.
These tests are best suited to daily habits. I haven't discovered them as effective for behaviors taken less frequently, like weekly activities.
All the same, if you're able to turn such habits into daily actions, you're able to still conduct a 30-day test and then reduce the frequency after the experiment is concluded.