Starting new habits: 3 Three Phases of Habit Change

The Three Phases of Habit Change

Hal Elrod came up with these in his book, The Morning Miracle, and I think they are genius and pretty much perfect to go over in January when everyone is trying to make better habits:


Phase 1 (Days 1-10)


The first 10 days of implementing any new habit or getting rid of an old habit can feel unbearable. Sure, the first few days are exciting because its something new and you are pumped to make a change but that newness wears off quickly after about the third day and those thoughts start creeping in.... “Ugh, this sucks, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to keep this up.” Enter the mindset that leads us to failing time and again with any resolution, goal, new habit, etc. Most people don’t realize that this unbearable phase is only temporary, just like the headache you get from giving up those five cups of coffee. Instead, they believe that this feeling is the way it will always feel and it is no longer worth it. When you are mentally prepared for the first 10 days to be unbearable, knowing that it WILL get better, you will have a better mindset to realize those 10 days are just growing pains to a better, more purposeful life.


Phase 2 (Days 11-20)


You’ve broken through the hardest part but you aren’t quite out of the woods yet.
At this point, you will be getting used to your new habit and you not only will be developing some confidence, but also have noticed positive results from the first 10 days. These days will not be as hard, but will require DISCIPLINE because it will still be tempting to fall back into your old behavior patterns.


Phase 3 (Days 21-30)

: We all love the 21-day challenges, and while they are remarkably successful for short-term gains, they don’t seem to promote lasting success. Our goal with 21 days is to introduce concepts, if it works then the goal is to continue with it! When you hit these final 10 days, the worst mistake you can make is to stop at that 21-day mark. While it absolutely does take 21 days to form a new habit, the last 10 days are essential in developing a positive relationship with your new habit. You made it through the hard part, now it is time to finally enjoy your new habit so it can transition from something you are trying into something you are becoming. Taking a break from your habit before you have invested the time into positively reinforcing the habit makes it REALLY difficult to get back on track. Don’t waste all of that unbearable / uncomfortable progress you made in the beginning by falling short at the 21 day mark! 

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