Train Your Brain to Keep Hold of Good Habits
Most new habits require 66 days to form. More intensive habits, such as establishing an exercise routine, may require up to an average of 84 days.
At one time or another, each of us has experienced the sensation of firm resolve: we'll wake up earlier, eat right, check email less often, and so on. But the reliability of our current habits--from walking to the coffee pot in the morning to wanting a glass of wine with dinner--makes creating new ones quite difficult. But by better understanding how we form habits, we can become more effective in changing our own behavior for good.
While figures vary from person to person, most new habits require 66 days to form according to the University College of London. More intensive habits, such as establishing an exercise routine, may require up to an average of 84 days. To get there, it is helpful to create cues for your brain so it can find autopilot more easily. Drinking a glass of water in the morning, for example, or doing the same set of stretches before a run, can prime your brain for the activity ahead.
Our current (bad?) habits are most powerful when the brain is first cued into them and when the reward for doing them arrives. That means it is essential to establish a new reward for better behavior rather than just cutting out an old habit. So what are our worst habits? MIT professor Leonard Guarente elaborates:
Read more at Fast Company
Photo credit: Shutterstock
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.
- The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
- The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
- People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
The rise of anti-scientific thinking and conspiracy is a concerning trend.
- Fifty years later after one of the greatest achievements of mankind, there's a growing number of moon landing deniers. They are part of a larger trend of anti-scientific thinking.
- Climate change, anti-vaccination and other assorted conspiratorial mindsets are a detriment and show a tangible impediment to fostering real progress or societal change.
- All of these separate anti-scientific beliefs share a troubling root of intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.
The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.
- Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
- Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
- Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.