As we said earlier breaking a behavior pattern is more complicated than making one because the worn- in pathways get weakened without use but they never vanish; the slightest provocation can reactivate them. Many smokers who try to quit smoking can go without a cigarette for a whole year, and suddenly give in and the habit returns – if you are one of those, then you know what I am talking about.
If you try to break a habit, you will get a good feeling about the 21- day rule as it means you do not have to worry about a continuous struggle for the rest of your life.
You will struggle for 21 up to 30 days maximum to surpass the necessary threshold. It is said that it takes 30 days to break a habit and another 30 days to reaffirm it, and then there will be no problem to move on from there.
As a matter of fact, changing a behavior pattern is not that easy; if it were, addicts would never relapse and overeaters would be thin and never get fat again.
For most of us, abstinence from a bad habit requires a lifetime effort, especially because synaptic pathways never disappear. The 21- day rule cannot be generalized to all people; depending on your psychological and physical makeup, breaking a habit may take several months or three weeks or even one day if you are strong- willed and decide to break a habit once and for all.
There are some tips that can increase the chances of your success, as following:
– Take small steps; instead of deciding to exercise every day, start with exercising twice a week.
– Do not try to change more than one habit all at once – one at a time.
– Write down your specific plans to achieve your goal.