Quit Quitting: Why we want to quit after 21 days Ep #72

Quit Quitting: Why we want to quit after 21 days Ep #72

Hey, welcome to Habits Humor. I'm Suzi B. This is a show where you come to get practical health help. Practical advice on how you can change your habits. Quick, simple actions that make a lasting difference. Today, we are going to talk about a topic that is one of the least talked about things in the world, and it should be talked about by everybody because once you understand this piece of the puzzle, you're so much more likely to succeed.

This frustrates the heck out of me that nobody's talking about this. This is the reason why you want to quit. This is the reason why when you set a goal for yourself, you're all right, I'm going to change this thing. I'm going to eat clean. And you start for two or three weeks and you find success and it's going well.

And then after about two or three weeks you want to quit, or maybe you started a fitness routine and you're like, all right, I'm going to walk or I'm going to work out or I'm going to do this thing every day. for 30 minutes and you start well and it feels successful and you're making some progress and then after about two or three weeks you want to quit.

Why? Why does this always happen to us? Why can't we stick to our goals? It's an incredibly frustrating process but today I hope to break it down in a way that makes it so that not only do you understand why this happens and that it's totally normal, but what you can do about it so that you stop giving up.

So you quit quitting on yourself. That's what we're going to talk about today. Let me go to a brief introduction of the show really quickly here, and I will be right back with you.


right. So here we are back at Habits and Humor. And what I want to talk about today is How to quit quitting, how to quit quitting. You guys, there is this incredible process that we go through whenever we make a change. Every single time we make a change, there are three phases that happen in your mind.

The first phase is called conscious personalization. This is where you create something new based on what you want, based on what you're thinking about. So if you want to start that new nutrition plan or that new fitness work or fitness plan, When you're starting to, you know, create some change in that aspect of your life, you're thinking about it, you're thinking about it, and that decision making part of your brain is your conscious mind.

So we're using the conscious to focus on what we want, and we're taking action. We're doing that thing consistently. After about two or three weeks, it starts to become, you know, something that we can, we believe that we can do. So we're getting into the groove of things and it's moving along well. And then all of a sudden something comes up.

Maybe we miss a day, or maybe we go out of town for the weekend, or maybe we're just wake up that morning and we don't want to do the thing anymore. We've all been there. You guys feel this frustration with me. I'm sure because You've had this before, go ahead and type in the comments, type in the chat. If you've experienced this where you start well, and then you want to stop after a couple of weeks.

Well, what happens here is called phase two. This is where your conscious mind is actually communicating with your subconscious mind. The subconscious is the part of your mind that occupy or that operates on autopilot. It's where your habits live. It's where all of those automated tasks that go on in the human body happen on auto your heartbeat, your breath, your body temperature, regulation, blinking, all of these different things that are happening are because of your subconscious mind.

So we want to use our conscious mind to start. That's phase one. That's the first two to three weeks of anything new that we're doing. We're thinking about it with our decision making part of our brain. Then we want to access the habit part of our brain to make these things automated, to make these things a lifestyle change that we don't have to think about anymore, but just keep happening for us.

That's phase three. When your subconscious takes over the work and decides, Hey, you know what? This is a phenomenal change that you've made conscious mind. Well done. I'm going to go ahead and take it from here and you can take a break. What happens in phase three is your conscious mind starts to free up some space so that it can think about the next great thing.

So now you can move on to adding more habits, changing more about whatever it is that you want to work on. But there's that phase two that happens in the middle there. This is when the conscious mind is communicating with the subconscious. But here's the thing. The conscious mind stops working at about 21 to 30 days.

The research shows that it's somewhere between three and five weeks that the conscious mind can focus. Most of us, it's about three weeks. That's why there's so many 21 day programs out there. Hey, you're going to form a new habit in 21 days. Well, you can form that new habit in your conscious mind, but it won't move into your subconscious.

It won't become a habit yet. And if you quit after 21 days, the work you've done may disappear entirely. It's likely that it won't be a long term change and it's likely that it will be incredibly frustrating for you. So let's talk about phase two. Phase two. But before I do that, I want to tell you a funny story because that's what we do here.

Let's tell you a story that will help you to remember the detriment that is possible if you quit early. If you jump out early before you've hit phase three, this is what could happen. My husband and I have a motorhome. We have this awesome old nineties motorhome that is... She's a beast. She's a beautiful beast and we love her and we take her camping all the time and our four kids.

So the six of us were camping one weekend out at a hunting property and we were riding motorcycles and doing all this fun stuff. And I was towing a trailer behind, so we had our motorcycles there and That's what else we brought. And so the jet ski was behind the motor home. And then my husband drove a truck that hauled the razor and the motorcycles.

So we each were towing a trailer to this hunting property. And then, we had a great time. The whole weekend was fabulous. Everybody was having a good time and we decided to head out. Pack up and go back home. So we load up all the vehicles and we load up the trailers and we start heading out.

And I'm hauling or I'm driving the motor home, hauling the jet ski. My husband is driving the truck, hauling the Razor and motorcycles. And at one point we have to stop for gas. So we stopped at this gas station and with a 30 foot motor home and a jet ski trailer behind it, you need a pretty significant parking place.

So rather than park in the gas station parking lot, which was kind of small my husband needed to fill up his truck. So he pulled in there and it was no problem for him to get in there, but I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to turn around the motor home. So I pulled in this parking lot across the road at a business.

Facility. So I pull in this parking lot and I go to turn around and I don't quite make the turn. So there's a big awning coming off the building in front and I'm thinking to myself, is this motor home going to hit that awning? I'm looking at it from the driver's seat and I can't really see if I'm going to make the corner or not.

So I throw the gear shifter up into park and I jump out of the car or out of the motor home to go and look and see if I'm going to clear the awning or if I need to back up. When I shifted up into park, I didn't quite make it all the way to park. I shifted into reverse. So I put the motorhome in reverse and I jump out.

I get out of the motorhome and it starts to drive away from me. I'm watching this happen to the side of me. The motorhome is moving, so I jump back in as fast as I can. I slam on the brakes. Listen, I was hauling a trailer and those trailers aren't too far behind the motorhome. So I jackknifed my own trailer with my own motorhome because I jumped out when I put it in reverse.

My friends, this is what it looks like when you get out early. Disaster happens. Everything was going so well. I was hauling this thing home. It was a fabulous trip. Everything was going really, really well, right up until I got out too early. If I had just sat there for two more seconds and looked to see if I was in park or reverse, problem would have been solved, but I didn't.

I got in reverse and I jumped out and calamity happened. I backed into my own trailer. The jet ski trailer got all bent up and there was a spare tire on the back of the motor home and we smashed the cover on the spare tire, but I luckily got in before the motor home actually impacted the trailer, so just the spare tire and the axle on the Jet ski trailer were slightly dented, but other than that, I was able to, stop the fiasco before it got too crazy.

And we still could drive at home. It was all fine, but just a great example for you of what it looks like when you get out early. So apply this story to phase one, two, and three of creating change. Phase one is when you're driving along, things are going well. And then all of a sudden phase two happens.

And if you're not quite in the right place, and if you get out too early, The progress that you've made will blow up, you will cause a problem in your own life. And this is not a pleasant experience for you. You will probably feel really frustrated by this at the time and down the road. I'm still annoyed every time I look and see that jet ski trailer from where I'm sitting right now and it is bent, drives me crazy.

Every time I think about this story, I got out too early and I'm super frustrated by it. The same thing can happen to you when you're creating change. If you are doing something new, your brain has to go through the process of that communication where your conscious mind says, Hey, it's been 21, 30 days. I am done with this process, but your subconscious doesn't come on board until about 40 to 60 days.

So there's a gap there. There's a gap between about day 20 and day 40. Your brain just starts to fight you. This is why you feel like you want to quit. This is why it feels like, Oh, this isn't making a difference. I'm just going to go ahead and give up now because your brain is totally in a different focus mode.

It's no longer focused on the decision making of, okay, let's get up. Let's do this thing every day. It's in the mode of. Recognizing patterns, your subconscious mind is built to find patterns. And so it's asking the conscious, Hey, have we formed enough patterns for this to become a habit? Your subconscious mind does the tasks that keep you alive.

So it's a pretty solid gatekeeper and it's not going to let just anything go in there. It only lets in the really important stuff. So it looks for patterns and it looks at the subconscious mind and says, Hey, you know what, have we been consistent with this long enough? and consistent enough to really be a change that we want to make long term.

And it's going to look at these patterns for the next two weeks. And my friends, if you quit during that period, no patterns can be found and no long term change will happen. However, if you can be consistent, if you can push through that two, three week period, phase number two, between day 21 and 40 of any change that you're making, your subconscious mind will find the pattern.

And it will take the task into your subconscious and it will take over the work for the conscious so that you don't have to think so hard about it, but you can keep doing this thing consistently on autopilot. This is the dreamland. This is when we get to phase three, but in order to get to phase three, you have to make it through phase two.

So phase two is the part where we want to quit. It's the part where we want to jump out of that motor home early and cause havoc. But you're not going to do that. We're not going to do that anymore because you now know to expect it. If you expect to feel that after two to three weeks that you want to quit, you're not going to allow yourself to do that.

What are you going to do instead? Step one, you're going to find some support, somebody that you can talk to every single day or every other day, or once a week, whether this is your best friend, your sister, your mom, your husband, whoever it is, a personal trainer, a coach, find someone that you can talk to during this difficult period, because your brain is going through a lot and it feels like it's fighting you.

Talk to somebody during this week and help you to help you stay consistent to help you reach that accountability that you need in order to keep showing up during this period. Remember that first three to four weeks you can do on your own, but during this phase two period between weeks about three and six, you're going to need, you're going to need some extra support.

Don't quit during this period because you will not make it to long term change. If you give up in phase two, you won't see phase three. And phase three is where the magic happens, where things become part of who you are, not just things that you do. So keep going through phase two, get extra support. If you have an accountability group hosting there every single day.

Reach out to somebody, have somebody text you every single day, or you text them, just get the extra support that you need from a real person to help you be mindful of the decisions that you're making, because your brain is not in decision making mode anymore. It's in communication mode where your conscious is talking to your subconscious.

Your subconscious is looking for patterns. You got to keep those patterns going. Remember, consistency doesn't mean perfection. Pattern just means that you're on days outnumber your off days. So keep the pattern going. If you're doing a habit that you want to have every single day, if you're succeeding four out of seven days, that's still a pattern.

Five out of seven days is ideal. Six out of seven days is better. And seven out of seven days is going to be awesome. But during this phase to give yourself a little grace, you don't have to be perfect. To succeed. You don't have to be perfect to succeed if you've been here before and you're like, all right, yeah, this rings true to me every month I start over.

Oh, we'll start again. Monday, every January 1st, I'll start again, January 1st. This is different now forever. This will forever be different for you because you now know to expect. This pushback from your brain, you now know to expect that it's going to get harder between weeks three and seven. So you can just set yourself up for success by getting extra support.

Step one, reach out to some people who care about you and who you care about. You can trust to be straight with you. You don't want a yes man during this time. You want a person who's going to say, you know what? I know you don't feel like doing it today, but do it anyway. You can do this. Get up and do the thing, whatever the thing is in my Habitize health group.

We do we have a one minute magic tool that we use, and this is simply like a backup plan where maybe you don't feel motivated to do the thing, the entire task, whatever it is, the entire habit, but you just have a little one minute version of that habit. So that, you know what, on the off days where I just don't feel like working out, I'm still going to get up and I'm going to do one minute blank.

I'm going to do one minute of pushups. Generally speaking, once you've started, you'll find that momentum in your brain and body will get on board and you'll be able to complete the rest of the tasks. If not, you can still do the one minute magic and be successful that day on the days that you don't really feel like doing the thing.

So find yourself that step two is get a one minute magic version of your habit. Whatever that may be. So just have a backup plan, a very short, sweet, and simple version of the thing that you're working on. So if you're doing a, like I talked about workout. If workouts is one of your goal goals, instead of doing a full 30 minute, whatever deal, just plan a one minute version of that.

So plan a one minute version of that habit. That's step two. First, get your support. Second, plan your one minute magic. Third, keep going. Do what you have to do to believe in yourself that you can make it through. This is simply pushing through some difficult stuff. Listen, you've been through difficult things before you've done hard things before you can do this.

And it's not going to last forever. I promise you, it's almost always two to three weeks for most people, it's two to three weeks. Some people, if maybe it's only a couple of days, it might only be one week, but for most of us, it's two to three weeks. So plan on this. And if you plan on this, then it will be easier to get through.

If you expect this to happen, then you'll know what's going on. Listen, if I expected to find myself in reverse when I jumped out of that motorhome, I would have been way more prepared for that whole situation. I probably wouldn't have gotten out early. If I knew I was in reverse, I would have stayed for an extra three seconds and shifted into the right gear.

That's the same concept for you guys. You now know that after about two to three weeks, you're going to get tired of the thing. You're going to have to shift and refocus. Refocus, get your support. Step one, get your one minute magic. Step two, motivate yourself, even on the days when you don't feel like doing it with a simpler version of the habit.

And then step three, be consistent, stick with it again. You do not have to be perfect, but you do need to be consistent. Your brain needs to recognize the pattern. So if the pattern that you're making is every once a week, maybe not a pattern that's going to recognize, but if it's four times a week, that is a pattern that your brain will recognize, get on board with and support.

Once those patterns are recognized, you move into subconscious succession, which is phase three, which is where the magic happens and things become long term. It's a beautiful place to be. I hope you guys understand where we're what to expect now in a different way. So the first two to three weeks that you do something, it's going to be difficult because it's new, but it won't be the hardest part of change.

That second phase or weeks, three to six or seven. That's where things are going to get tough. You're going to need that extra support. You're going to need that extra motivation. Use your one minute magic tool, and you're going to need to be extra consistent. Do what you got to do to push through phase two so that you can get to phase three is where things become lifestyle.

Things become habit, things become easier and more natural for you. So you can think less and accomplish more. You're more likely to stick to it at that point because it's easier. Your brain is on board and it's no longer fighting you. It's a beautiful place to be and I encourage all of you guys to do what you got to do to get to phase three.

Push through that phase two and realize that this is normal. Give yourself a little pat on the back when you get to that point where you want to give up because you're like, Oh, Hey, I'm in phase two. This is a good thing. Now my brain's on, brain is getting on board. It's communicating in the way that it needs to.

And in a couple of weeks from now, I'm going to see some real success. So let's shift our mindset on those weeks that we want to give up. Instead of feeling frustrated and angry and anxious about it, let's feel excited about it because this is a big deal. This is the step before success. You're right in there.

You're just a couple of weeks away from long term lasting change. I hope this information is helpful for you guys. And if you are struggling with this, if you don't have that support system and you're like, Oh, I don't even know who I would talk to for those two to three weeks. Reach out to me. That's what we do in Habitize Health.

That is exactly what we do in Habitize Health. We keep you consistent. Through all three phases so that you can get to long term lasting change. All right, you guys have a fabulous week and we'll catch you next time on habits and humor. If you want more information about Habitized Health, how you can get consistent, you can go to habits.

SuziBHabits.Com or you can absolutely join our free Facebook group Habits and Humor. I hope to see you guys all in the group and thanks for joining us today. We will see you next time on Habits and Humor.