Only practice one habit at a time. Vitally necessary Even with only one habit, changing it is challenging. You're setting yourself up for failure if you try to break more than one habit at a time. Keep things simple, enable yourself to focus, and you'll have a better chance of success.
So, change one thing about your behavior, get feedback, adjust as needed, repeat. It may take days, weeks, or months to change something about your behavior. But once you do, you'll see your progress and be more likely to keep going.
For example, if your goal is to lose weight, then start by changing your diet. This might mean eating less pizza or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Save all your pee in a bottle for three months in the hope that it will be a true reflection of your current diet, but don't count calories, points, or grams of fat while doing so. In other words, use common sense when it comes to diet changes; don't go on some crazy food plan where everything you eat gets counted exactly. That's not realistic.
Once you've changed your behavior, give yourself some credit for being smart enough to understand that losing weight requires more than just limiting yourself to under 500 calories per meal.
The prevailing agreement among behavior modification researchers is that you should concentrate on modifying only a few habits at a time. The biggest figure you'll discover is altering three behaviors at once, which comes from Stanford University's BJ Fogg. His limit is based on the idea that we only have so much willpower and focus capacity as individuals, and if we try to change too many things at once we will likely fail at any many of them.
Willpower is a limited resource, meaning that we can deal with only so much information about actions that need to be taken and choices that need to be made in a given day. If we try to process more than this can be done effectively, we're going to suffer consequences such as feeling overwhelmed or exhausted. Choosing one thing to work on while letting the others slide provides a better chance of success because it reduces the amount of energy needed for maintenance.
According to research conducted by Nandi Kumar at the University of Texas at Austin, most people can modify between one and four behaviors at a time. Those who can modify five or more traits are rare. However, there are several factors involved in this type of research so this number might change over time.
You should also know that some people are just bad at changing their habits. They may succeed at first but soon fall back into old ways when it becomes difficult.
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