I’m obviously still consumed with consuming Jay Papasan’s book, The One Thing. This is like finding a vein of gold and following it to an abundance of riches.
I’m giving you “one year to master 5 things and turn them into habits.”
- Daily exercise
- Daily meditation
- Healthy eating
- Learn a new language
- Learn a musical instrument.
Most people would go to work immediately, planning their day to include a bit of each one.
THIS IS WHY WE FAIL.
We’re trying to take 5 things all at once and condition our mind to make these regular habits in our life. AND we’re exhausted each day.
In addition to everything else you do, you’re trying to add in five things you’re not used to doing.
The process of learning a new habit consumes so much of our the available power in our prefrontal cortex, we’re completely tapped-out when we’re trying to learn too many things at once.
Within a couple of months, we’re distracted and slowing letting our new desired habits die off.
Now, let’s look at a new approach that will change your life.
A study published by Health Psychology Researcher Phillippa Lally in the European Journal of Social Psychology shows that the average time to form a new habit is 66 days.
This takes into consideration the simpler habit like drinking a glass of water every morning along with the more difficult ones like including daily exercise (at least difficult for me). Average is 66 days.
So, what if you forgot the other 4 habits you had to learn and focus on the one you thought might take the longest, such as learning a musical instrument.
If each of the new desired habits takes an average of 66 days to learn, it will take you (on average) 330 days to integrate all 5 habits. That leaves you 35 days of wiggle room in case one takes a bit longer.
This is why so many of us are failing at so much of what we want to accomplish in life. We’re trying to do it all at once.
Pick the one thing that’s most important to your success… drop the others and stay focused on the ONE THING (see, there’s that book again) until it’s a habit.
Habits take little mental effort. New tasks take tons of effort. Learning something new will tax your mind in a big way.
Doing what you’ve always done is often called a mindless task. It takes little mental power. Think about a drive you take every day. Sometimes you get to work and don’t even remember the drive (unless you’re in Southern California… you remember EVERY morning commute.).
Again, I’m giving you the summary of this. In the book The One Thing, Jay Papasan does a more in depth explanation as to why this happens. There’s a lot of science that goes into it.
Listen, you can spend the next year trying to master 5 new habits, end up frustrated you didn’t accomplish any of them, or you can drop 4 of them for the next 66 days while you master the first one and then be excited in a year when all of them are mindless habits.
What ONE THING are you going to turn into a habit over the next 66 days?