There is a popular notion that it takes 21 days to cement a new habit. In reality, though, research shows that it can take some people less time—and others a lot more—to make significant changes. Should that discourage you?
Well, think of this scenario: Imagine that you want to build a habit of exercising three times a week.
The first week, you meet your goal.
The second week, you miss a day.
The third week, you are back on track.
The fourth week, you barely exercise once.
The fifth week, you reach your goal again, and from that point forward, you meet it each week.
It took five weeks to solidify your new habit. That may seem like a long time, but once you reach your goal, you will be glad you have cultivated a new good habit.
BIBLE PRINCIPLE: “The righteous one may fall seven times, and he will get up again.”—Proverbs 24:16.
The Bible encourages a long-range view. What counts in the end is, not how many times we fall, but how many times we get up again.
What counts in the end is, not how many times we fall, but how many times we get up again
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Do not conclude that a relapse is a permanent failure. Expect to face some setbacks as you work toward your goal.
Focus on the times when things went right. For example, if you are trying to improve the way you communicate with your children, ask yourself: ‘When was the last time I felt like yelling at my children, but didn’t? What did I do instead? How can I repeat that?’ Such questions can help you to reinforce your successes rather than dwell on your setbacks.
Would you like to know how Bible principles can help you in other aspects of life, such as dealing with anxiety, building a happy family life, and finding real happiness? Speak with any of Jehovah’s Witnesses, or visit our website, jw.org.