How To Form New Habits

The best way to change your life in a positive manner, is by forming new habits which replace old ones.

A common example of this would be swapping fizzy drinks for water.

Or quitting smoking.

Another example would be getting into an exercise routine.

These are different lifestyle changes which will provide you with a whole host of benefits to make your life better and more enjoyable as well improve longevity.

But it is quite often not as easy as just ‘doing it’.

Habits take time to develop. Depending on your source, the general consensus is by aiming between 21 and 365 days for the brain to form the pathways and patterns for the habit to become the norm.

Forming A Habit In 21 Days

How Long Does It Really Take To Form A Habit?

I have always found that doing 30 day challenges have given me the most personal satisfaction and best overall results.

They are short term targets which are achievable, that allow me to stay motivated throughout the process with an end goal in sight.

Simply saying ‘I am going to stop doing X,Y,Z’ is much much harder than you can ever imagine. The first few days, you are motivated and fly through it.

Then normality kicks in. Motivation fades. The old habit which you are trying to replace creeps back in.

With a target of 30 days, you can start at the start of a month and watch the days tick away on a calendar knowing that you are getting closer each day.

Once the 30 days are up, once you have battled through the highs and lows of forming the new habit you have a decision to make.

Do you wish to carry on with the habit?

Has it had a positive effect in your life?

What has been the biggest improvement since you started?

And most importantly.

Why did you start in the first place?

The final question should be the one that stops you from reforming any old habits that have been replaced by new ones.

If you formed 12 new habits in the next 12 months, how much different would your life look?


I have given you some ideas and some common habits that you may want to consider and try a 30 day challenge for yourself:

  • Journalling your thoughts
  • Quitting smoking
  • Quitting alcohol
  • Quitting porn
  • Walking everyday
  • Intermittent fasting
  • Drinking 2-3L of water
  • Waking up at the same time every morning
  • Spending an hour reading
  • Making sure to get outside
  • No takeaways
  • Positive self affirmations

If you tried to do all of these at once, 99.9999% of people would fail and that is how it should be. If it was easy, then you wouldn’t feel the pride and benefits from them that you will receive.

Choose one and stick with it.

Take note of the changes it will have on your life and why you want to do it. Then review this each time you want to give up.

What habits are you trying to change? Let me know and let’s discuss it further!

For more information, training programmes and training tips visit my website

Published by Thomas Jackson Smith

Personal Trainer. Qualified Strength and Conditioning Coach, Exercise Referral specialist, Football coach and entrepreneur. Interested in health and fitness, exercise prescription, football, nutrition, injury prevention, recovery and mindset improvement. Any views are my own and from my own experience. Looking to build links within the blog community, replying to feedback and offering support so we can learn and grow together!

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