What's the best way to form a new (good) habit?

The second month of the new year is a better time  to affect positive change.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  Anybody can make a New Year’s resolution that promises changes will begin on January 1st, but some of us know we’re doomed to fail with those expectations hanging heavily right there on the nearby calendar.

Some things around here do need to change though, and I’m wondering which methods work best. I’ve already forgotten the reasoning about how long it actually takes to form a new habit, so I’m moving along to the ways we’re supposed to start our new thinking.

Take dieting for instance. One health expert says variety is the salvation of the dieter, that having several different options keeps us motivated. But then another expert says variety sabotages a diet.  The thinking here is to eliminate choice and eat the same thing every day.  Same breakfast, same lunch, same dinner if we’re trying to lose weight. This is supposed to form a new, better habit.  This is also meant to help us return food to the category of “necessity” instead of ”treat.” 

I’m wondering which way works best.  And if it’s even possible to break a lifelong habit of considering  food a treat.  And does this habit have to last forever, or only until the desired result is achieved?  Just wondering.

© Anita Garner 2010

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