creatures of habit

It takes three weeks to make or break a habit.

Sound familiar? Anyone who has ever tried to change a pattern, quit fidgeting or stop overspending, can tell you it isn’t so simple.

In reality, habits are easier to make than they are to break. The human brain is an extremely beautiful piece of machinery – Adaptive. Restorative. Upon repetition, some thoughts and behaviours become so engrained that we seem to adopt them as part of who we are. When repeated, the pathways of this pattern become worn in and get used to being accessed. Our brains, so brilliantly crafted, make it easier for impulses to travel along those pathways. We no longer need to engage in self-analysis when undertaking these thoughts and behaviours, which is why they often go unnoticed.

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Although breaking a thought or behaviour is a lot more complicated, it can be done. Amazingly, we can change, rearrange and rewire our neural networks. With consistent behaviour against an unhelpful habit, we can weaken the pattern. Our best defense is to form a new, parallel pattern to replace it that serves a similar purpose, like breathing when we feel anxious, rather than indulging in the old pattern.

I want to always remain in motion toward positive growth. And I want to celebrate the small steps to challenge my thoughts and actions, remembering it cannot happen overnight.

If it were really that easy, no one would smoke and everyone would wake up early enough to have a healthy breakfast.

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