6 tips to break or create habits

6 tips to break or create habits


It has always been sought to have a magic recipe to achieve goals without effort, some say that victory comes after 66 days.

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


When I was a child I imagined that I had powers that helped me in key moments, for example, I could make myself invisible and play pranks on my sister, or listen to “the big talks” going completely unnoticed.

I could also fly (one of my favorite powers), but among all of them, there was one that was my favorite because with it I could enjoy and do many things: stop time.

Now that the powers are gone (not entirely, haha!) They don’t know how I miss the possibility of stopping time and turning it back when I regret not having done something that I had proposed to myself simply out of tiredness or being “stuck” with more things .

However, we can all have the possibility, although not of turning back time to avoid regrets, but of exercising the technique of turning habits into routine.

How many times do you promise yourself that you will exercise and you just can’t? This is a common situation and scholars say that a habit repeated a certain number of times becomes a routine and therefore a lifestyle where you do a certain activity “automatically”, without thinking, forgetting about subsequent regret. to omission.

There is no magic number that tells you “after a certain time you will achieve it”, there are scholars who say that it can be 21, 66 or 84 days, it all depends on the motivation that drives you to repeat the action. Much also depends on the results you get, because we always want everything immediately, we do not know how to wait (it seems to me that tolerance and patience is a habit that many should practice) and seeing that we are not having the result makes us want , we deceive ourselves and justify giving up the habit.

Jeremy Dean, author of the book “Making habits, breaking habits” ( Making habits, breaking habits: why we do things, why we don’t and how to make any change stick ) explains that on average a habit takes 66 days to form, but as I mentioned in the previous paragraph, it depends on the task. For example, if they are simple it can take 20 or 21 days, but if it is something that requires more effort, such as daily exercise, it can take up to 84 days.

Taking Dean’s theory into account, he proposes a series of steps to create / break habits:

1. Little is a lot. Focus on modest changes, you don’t want to change something big because in the end you will sabotage yourself. Make the change manageable.

2. Be objective. Be firm with what you decided to change, but at the same time be realistic; understand the difficulties that may come and how you will not give up.

3. Repeat. Nothing is as “magical” as repeating what you want to form a new habit.

4. Don’t hold back. Many times we try to suppress thoughts to “forget” them but obviously the opposite always happens. For example, if you want to quit smoking and you avoid thinking about cigarettes, suddenly you will see cigars everywhere.

5. Substitute . Instead of suppressing, replace with something else that habit you want to break; For example, if you are one of those who use to move your foot uncontrollably, instead of thinking about not moving it, better when you feel that need, stand up and walk for a minute.

6. Reaffirm. Creating a habit has to do with your self-control and commitment. Think that as long as you manage to achieve it, you will be doing something beneficial for yourself.



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