Today I opened up my Dove chocolate caramel bite and read “Test your own limits and keep going.”
Wow! What a great tip.
Do you know your limits?
How do you set your limits?
When you start a new process how do you measure its success?
Do you give yourself enough time to make the changes, or do you give up before it's time?
Contrary to many “experts,” it takes longer than 30 days to form most habits. I have conducted informal research with my clients and have found that, on average, it takes 7 weeks to get a good habit into form.
Harley Hann wrote an interesting article about forming habits and making change. It is pretty long and filled with psychology references, but quite interesting.
In it he writes:
These skills [controlling habits] are among the most important in life, and yet receive so little attention. Coming to terms with habit is a slow process. To do so, you need to realize that most habits are not unchangeable. Rather, they are patterns of behavior that you have learned. You can both learn new habits and break old ones if you want.
But habits possess great psychic strength and they are neither easily created nor easily destroyed. They are powerful and you must be prepared to devote time and effort to their cultivation. The way to form a habit is to practice repeatedly. There is no easy way. This does not mean that the process must be unpleasant, although sometimes unavoidably it will be so.
He talks about taking control. We all have those voices in our head (not the scary kind, but the sub-conscious kind) that remind us what we need to be doing. [Heck — it is so common that we frequently see cartoons arguing with an angel on one shoulder and a little bad one on the other shoulder – think Tom and Jerry cartoons!]
His suggestion is that no matter what type of rationale we make for ourselves, at some point, in order to form habits, we have to take control.
“Test your own limits and keep going.”
What does that mean to you? To me, it means that I push myself to be what I am capable of and then push more to make it even better. Taking control and testing your limits are not easy things. However, once you try and succeed, you will find that it is exhilarating!
When you are putting a new system into place, consider this chocolate reflection. Give yourself time to form a habit and take control! Reach your limit and then keep going.
I believe in you and what you are trying to accomplish in your life. Here is to you testing your limits and pushing even farther!
To your success!