3 Weeks. Why Train Yourself To Be Positive?

couple sits on yoga mats focusing on meditation in quiet fitness room
by Vance Larson

There is nothing magical about the time between December 25th through January 15th. But what makes it magical, is your belief in it. You believe in the magic of the holidays and the promise of the new year. And when January 16th rolls around – ghost town. That is what I see every year for the past 3 decades working in mental health. Especially in the coaching arena. 

The promise of the new year has most everyone thinking and talking about hope and resolutions. They’re excited and energized. But at the 3-week mark, they revert back to old ways and old thinking. The energy and hope are gone. Don’t believe me? Just look at all the health clubs and how packed they are the first few weeks of January. By mid-month, they start to thin out. By mid-February, you no longer have to stand in line to use a machine or take a class. And why is that? Because our beliefs did not match our motivation. And our motivation did not turn into a discipline. 

Studies show that it is actually about 66 days to form a habit.

We have all heard that it takes 21 days to form a habit. So that would make sense in terms of the 3-week mark. But in reality, it takes much longer than 3 weeks to form a habit. Don’t get me wrong, 3 weeks is a great start. But studies show that it is actually about 66 days to form a habit. With that said, the real magic starts in the mind. 

We must cultivate belief systems that turn to the positive and not the negative. That at the slightest bit of controversy, we push back. That we are proactive in creating hope. While I am a big fan of “non-action” in terms of meditation, my nonmovement is only physical. In my mind and spirit, I am gravitating towards the positive. I am visualizing a plan and see positive results. This is not some new-age strategy to give false hope. This is the science-based reality that thoughts can create outcomes. Negative attracts negative, while positive attracts positive. 

Ounces equal pounds. Pounds equal pain.

This belief system does not bypass the bad days and scenarios. But what it does do, is take a hundred-pound problem and make it much easier to carry. To prove this point, strap on a hundred-pound backpack for a week. You will notice that almost everything you do is damn near impossible. Something as simple as tying your shoes becomes an ordeal. At the end of the week, reduce your pack by 50 pounds. Yes, your day to day activities will still be hard. But, by decreasing the load {meaning your negative outlook}, you begin to feel as though you will make it. Like they say in the military when loading up their backpacks for an extended mission. Ounces equal pounds. Pounds equal pain. If you don’t need to carry extra, then don’t. Same principle with negative thought patterns.

There is no magic in those 3 weeks. The magic is all in your mind. Train yourself to look to the positive. I promise you your life will change {for the good} beyond words. 

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