I heard a great idea from Steve Pavlina
called the 30 Day Trial. I'm not sure if you ever download software from the internet but alot of it is called trial-ware. It's software that you download and install and you get 30 day to see if it'll do what you want. After those 30 days you can either buy it and keep it forever or uninstall it and try something else. It's an easy concept and one that Steve Pavlina applies to changing pattern and behaviour.
I must admit that I've heard many different theories that relate to changing a habit, normally it involves the amount of time you need to work it at before it's broken or introduced. Some people say 7 days, some say 90 days, however I think 30 days works for me.
Here's the catch though... if you try something new for 30 days but skip day 12 and days 18 through 24 then guess what? It doesn't work! It's like reading the instructions to setting your VCR but skipping step 6 and then wondering why it doesn't do what you want.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said "Of what use to make heroic vows of amendment if the same old law breaker is to keep them?"
The real question is why though isn't it? You see your mind acts like an autopilot. An autopilot is a piece of technology that allows a captain to let the airplane get from A to B. The captain sets the destination and then the plane monitors things like altitude, weather, air pressure and wind and then continually makes minor adjustments (sometimes hundreds per second) to guide the plane to the destination. Your mind works in the same way which is both good and bad.
In this case though it's all about the destination. As an example if a student starts a school year with results from the last year fresh in their head then it's a good bet that they'll end this new year in the same way. If the student is a B average student and they THINK they are a B average student then guess what's going to happen throughout the year? They'll get Bs! However if you were to tell the student that they can get an A, and they were to visualise it and then implement some changes in behaviour then I guarentee they'll get an A.
You see... unless we actually change our behaviour then our mind is going to automatically keep us on track for our expected results. Here's another example: let's say you are a sales person and you sell $100,000 every year. You go to a sales seminar and you get all excited, new energy, new ideas and for a short time (perhaps 2 weeks) you make a bunch of new sales. Well unless you actually change your behaviour then your mind's autopilot will kick and correct that behaviour for you, setting you back on a path of selling $100,000.
So how do you break the behaviour? Two things:
- Set a new destination
- Do a 30 Day Trial of a new behaviour
The new destination is easy, and really that's what this whole blog is about. How do you achieve the goal you really want in life. The 30 Day Trial is a bit tougher, but that's why it's only 30 days.
You can do anything for 30 days can't you? What could you change about your behaviour for just 30 days if you knew it would help. I love this question too... "If you knew you couldn't fail at something, then what would you really want to be doing with your life?"
Me? Well what can I change for 30 Days? I need to change my exercise behaviour so I think this will be my 30 day trial: Walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes each day. I'll let you know how I go.
So what are you going to do?