A Doctor in New York observed it takes just 21 days to adjust to a newly amputated limb. This was consistent. He saw this in dealing with his patients. This 21-day concept was first introduced by Dr. Maxwell Maltz, in a book titled,
The essence of the technique is simply to devote 15 minutes a day to the formation of any habit you wish to establish, and do this faithfully for 21 days. By the fourth week, it should actually be harder not to engage in the new behavior than it would be to continue doing it.
This applies to any type of habit, whether it is a physical practice or a way of perceiving something, such as self image. In Zero Resistance Living, they talk about changing your self image in “the theater of your mind” for 15 minutes a day, for 21 days.
It will also help to establish the habit if the behavior, such as jogging, is performed at the same time of day every day. Other senses can be utilized to establish the habit. For example, if you want to establish the habit of meditating, you can reinforce the practice by wearing the same clothing, burning the same incense, occupying the same location, and assuming the same posture.
The more senses you can involve in the new habit, the more likely it is to become ingrained in the neural pathways, so, even if you’re working on your self image in a mental construct, it’s helpful to use all the faculties of your imagination to include sights, sounds, smells, and the senses of feeling and taste to strengthen the image which you come to associate with your new self image. In other words, make it seem as real as possible.
If you miss a day, just keep going until you’ve been doing the new behavior for 21 days in a row.
So, Spring Fever has stirred this desire in me to Reboot My Life. This is my personal 21 Day Program. What started this? For several weeks I have tackeld and subdued the paper filing, ruthlessly culled clothing I have not worn in 12 months – nor looked at – from my wardrobe and donated them to a charity store, cleared and cleaned cupboards, shelves and drawers, and came home after a dy of work to a pristine home with delightfully NO CLUTTER, anywhere. It was delightful. Mind you, I have chipped away at this daily in short bursts, and it got me thinking.