A few more ideas about how scheduling can help create new habits…
Gretchen Rubin suggests that one strategy to create a new habit is to schedule it or tie it to an existing habit. The existing habit becomes the external cue or trigger. She proposes that an existing habit or cue is a better trigger than using a particular start time. I found this perspective helpful myself when I paired brushing my teeth at night with removing my makeup.
An interesting caution that Rubin proposes is to avoid the desire to wait and start a new habit at the “right” time. Waiting for the “right” time becomes a justification for delay. In almost every case the best time to start is NOW!
Rubin addresses the issue of how long it takes to create a new habit. I blogged about this topic on February 26, 2015 when I was inspired by a blog in the Huffington Post. I’ve provided the link below.
This blog about forming new habits debunks the notion that it takes 21 days to create a new habit. The average time found by the researchers in the U.K. is 66 days with a range of 18-254 days depending on the complexity of the new habit.
Rubin endorses the perspective that we do benefit from scheduling a new habit every day as opposed to the idea of doing something once in a while. “What I do every day matters more than what I do once in a while.” She says that in her own experience she has definitely found it easier to do something every day than some days.
Tomorrow – more ideas about how scheduling is an important tool that helps create new habits.