Coping with New Habits
Have you ever heard of the famous saying that habits take 66 days to take form?
Or perhaps it’s 90 days? Is it the same for breaking habits then? The research on habits is vast and uses information from a number of disciplines, including psychology and science.
Whatever the consensus (if there even is one) is for the amount of time necessary, habits are a crucial part of a student’s life. In high school, I was reminded several times by teachers especially to make sure I created proper studying habits so that I would do well in university. They made it seem like having good habits was the key to success!
Although I don’t disagree that good studying habits makes it easier to do well in classes, I think there is a whole other side of habits that people often forget.
Tying in with the theme of 2020 being self-care and slowing down, I decided to track my habits throughout the year. I had set goals for the year that I wanted to achieve and used my bullet journal to hold myself accountable.
It’s been more than a year since I started tracking my habits (which could be a habit in and of itself, too..) and I realized creating a habit is more than the number of days it takes to achieve it. Setting a habit as a goal doesn’t mean much when you don’t really care for it – in other words, you need to find the reason and motivation for setting the goal or soon it’ll become a burden.
I think I have been relying more on habits now as a method to cope with the external circumstances such that it provides me a sense of comfort and familiarity.
For example, I wanted to be able to do the splits in a year and made it a goal to stretch every day with a number of routine stretches. Nowadays, I realized we sit so much during school so stretching became something that I did more often. In fact, if I didn’t stretch during the day, I’d feel rather stiff and sore!
Lastly, building new habits is just as important as taking care of your old habits – it’s what got you this far!
Try pinpointing something you want to achieve – whether that be journaling for 15 minutes every morning/night, stretching after each class, or drinking 3L of water every day, and reflect on how that changes your mindset throughout the process!