What Is The Process Of Habit Formation
The habits of highly successful people allow them to perform behaviours consistently that result in success. Most people believe that they can form a habit in 21 days if they consistently perform a desired behaviour consistently for approximately three weeks. However, this is simply a realistic view on how habits are formed. The formation of habits actually take place through three distinct phases, the honeymoon phase, the fight through phase, and the second nature phase.
The Honeymoon Phase
The honeymoon phase of habit formation is often characterized by the feeling that it’s easy. As most married people will tell you, at some point even the greatest honeymoon must come to an end. The honeymoon phase of habit formation is usually a result of being inspired by something. For example, you might attend a highly motivational personal development conference, and for the first several days afterward you are determined to make positive changes in your life. The honeymoon phase in anything is temporary and it is very important to make the most of this phase, in order to get through the next two stages.
The Fight Through Phase
Once the honeymoon phases end, your inspiration will fade, and reality will set in. This is the phase where you might find yourself struggling with completing the positive habit and your old habits are just waiting around the corner for their chance to move back in. The key to successfully getting through this phase is to win two or three “fight through’s.” To win a fight through, you should use the following techniques.
- Recognize that you are in the fight through phase.
- Ask questions and bring your emotions into the equation.
- Imagine how your life will be in five years if you don’t make the necessary changes.
This is by far the most difficult stage and the stage where most people give up. Know that this stage is temporary and doesn’t last forever. Simply put your head down and push through it. You will know when you come out the other side of it, because everything eases up slightly and becomes less of a struggle.
The Second Nature Phase
When you enter the phase of second nature, you start to feel as though you are getting into the groove of things. Once you find yourself in this phase, you’ll need to keep an eye out for the following common interruptions.
- Seduction of success
If you end up experiencing one of these interruptions it has the possibility of sending you back to phase two. By winning two or three of the fight throughs, you will find yourself back in the second nature phase where you can continue to move forward in forming more positive habits.
Most people think that forming positive habits is a simple as completing a new task consistently for 21 days. Unfortunately, it takes a bit more time than that. Good habits require commitment and hard work. Keep these three phases in mind the next time you want to form a good habit to help you reach a higher level of success.
Being aware of the tree phases is very useful in keeping you focussed. When something occurs to rock your boat, at least you can see why it has arisen and what to do to eliminate it. The moral of the story is a very simple one work towards your goal consistently. Don’t make excuses or get distracted. Even when the going gets tough, keep sight of your goal and keep moving forward. You need to do this even before you get any sign that it is working for you. You will get there, as long as you keep reminding yourself of this, you will succeed.