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Forming Healthy Habits Through Community

Forming healthy habits is essential for long-term well-being, but it's not always easy. We've heard it said that it takes 21 days to form a habit. We've seen the headlines promoting how to quit something in 7 days, and of course the infamous New Year's resolutions that never quite stick year after year. And although forming new habits is challenging, it's crucial for us to keep trying! According to a study led by Phillipa Lally at the University College London, the average amount of time to form new habits hovers around 66 days. Our brains are divinely designed to form new habits. It's what scientists have labeled, "neuroplasticity." Telling ourselves the truth about the timeline to form habits will actually empower us to stick with it without being let down along the way. So let's explore three practical strategies that can help us for building habits and three common hurdles that can make it challenging. Plus, discover how having a friend by your side and community around you can provide valuable support on your journey.

Common Hurdles to Forming Habits

1. Lack of Consistency

Inconsistency can derail even the best intentions. Life's demands and distractions can disrupt your routine, making it difficult to maintain new habits. Overcome this hurdle by planning ahead, prioritizing your wellness goals, and finding creative solutions to stay consistent, even when faced with challenges.

2. Negative Self-Talk and Self-Doubt

Inner critics and self-limiting beliefs can undermine your efforts to form healthy habits. Negative thoughts like "I'm not disciplined enough" or "I'll never stick to this" or "I've been doing this for 14 days and still don't see results" can erode your confidence and motivation. Combat self-doubt by practicing self-compassion, challenging negative thoughts, and focusing on your strengths and progress rather than perfection.

3. Lack of Support or Accountability

Trying to build habits alone can be lonely and isolating. Without support or accountability, it's easy to lose motivation and revert to old behaviors. Seek out community, whether it's joining a fitness class, participating in online forums, or partnering with a friend or mentor who shares your wellness journey.

Practical Ways to Build Healthy Habits

1. Start Small and Be Consistent

Begin by setting achievable goals and gradually increasing them over time. Consistency is key; aim to practice your new habit daily or on a regular schedule. Whether it's drinking more water, exercising regularly, taking a daily multivitamin or incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet, small, consistent actions can lead to significant changes over time.

2. Create a Supportive Environment

Surround yourself with cues and reminders that reinforce your desired habits. For example, keep healthy snacks readily available, set out your workout clothes the night before, or use habit-tracking apps to monitor your progress. By shaping your environment to align with your goals, you can make it easier to stay on track and resist temptation.

3. Accountability and Social Support

Enlist the support of a friend, family member, or accountability partner who shares your wellness goals. Having someone to hold you accountable can provide motivation, encouragement, and a sense of camaraderie. Whether it's exercising together, meal prepping as a team, or checking in regularly to discuss progress, the mutual support of a trusted ally can make all the difference.

The Power of Community

Building healthy habits is a journey best traveled with others. Having a friend by your side can provide invaluable support, accountability, and motivation. When you join forces with a friend who shares your goals, you can celebrate successes, navigate challenges, and inspire each other to reach new heights. Together, you can overcome obstacles, stay focused on your priorities, and make meaningful progress toward a healthier, happier life.

Here are some statistics and research findings that highlight the benefits of social support, accountability partners, and community involvement in forming new habits:

1. Increased Success Rates: According to a study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, individuals who had a support system in place were significantly more likely to achieve their goals compared to those who attempted to go it alone. Having someone to hold you accountable and provide encouragement can enhance your chances of success.

2. Improved Motivation: Research has shown that social support can increase motivation and adherence to behavior change goals. When you have a friend or accountability partner cheering you on, you're more likely to stay committed to your habits, even when faced with challenges or setbacks.

3. Enhanced Well-Being: Studies have demonstrated a positive correlation between social support and overall well-being. Having a strong support network can reduce stress, boost mood, and improve resilience in the face of adversity, all of which are crucial for maintaining healthy habits.

4. Long-Term Sustainability: A study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine found that individuals who participated in group-based programs for weight loss and healthy lifestyle changes were more likely to maintain their progress over time compared to those who pursued individual approaches. The camaraderie and sense of community fostered within group settings can help sustain motivation and commitment over the long term.

5. Accountability and Peer Influence: Research conducted by the American Psychological Association suggests that having an accountability partner can lead to greater accountability and adherence to goals. When you know that someone else is counting on you to follow through, you're more likely to stay accountable and resist temptation.

6. Social Connection and Identity: Being part of a community that shares your goals and values can provide a sense of belonging and identity. When you surround yourself with like-minded individuals who are striving for similar outcomes, you're more likely to adopt their habits and behaviors through social influence and modeling.

7. Positive Reinforcement and Encouragement: According to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, receiving positive reinforcement and encouragement from others can increase self-efficacy and belief in one's ability to succeed. When you receive validation and support from your peers, it reinforces your commitment to your goals and boosts your confidence in your ability to achieve them.

These statistics underscore the importance of social support, accountability, and community involvement in the habit-forming process. By leveraging the power of social connections, you can increase your chances of success and enjoy the journey toward achieving your goals even more.

Consider joining a community like THREE and become a brand ambassador. Whether you are seeking personal growth, joining others who are likeminded as you or the chance to make a positive impact, THREE offers the platform and support you need. By joining our brand ambassador program, you can align yourself with a company that values integrity, quality, and social responsibility. Having a support system can provide encouragement, guidance, and a sense of belonging that boosts your chances of success.