Do you know your habits are interrelated? For example, when you cultivate a good habit, other things improve in your life. On the other hand, when a bad habit creeps in, everything else crashes too.
Take this lifestyle pattern for example:
- Sleep late → Wake up late → No time to exercise → Late for appointment → Stay late to do work → Eat junk food → Sleep late
All the activities here are interrelated. Say if you try to correct all the habits except sleeping late, you may succeed initially. However, you will eventually reach a breaking point.
- Sleep late → Wake up early → Time to exercise → Reach work on time → Get work done → Sleep late
Here, sleeping late will eventually cause you to wake up late, hence having no time to exercise. You may also reach work late, which causes you to stay late to complete your work. Working late will cause you to eat junk food and sleep late. Which brings you back to the initial scenario.
Why does this happen? Imagine a spider web. A spider web has multiple threads that support its web pattern. To break the web, cutting off one of the threads is not enough – you have to cut off all the threads essential to the structure.
Likewise, to break out of an undesirable habit, it’s not as easy as changing that one habit. You need to change all the habits linked to it — the bad ones, half-bad ones, and neutral ones.
21-Day Lifestyle Revamp Program
This sparked off the idea of the 21-Day Lifestyle Revamp Program. In 2009, I wrote about 21-Day Habit Trial Program to cultivate a new habit at a time. With the Lifestyle Revamp Program, you design your ideal lifestyle – complete with all the habits you want to cultivate and old habits you want to get rid of. Then, for the next 21 days, you will embark on this new lifestyle and shed off your past habits.
This program is about giving your life a total revamp and creating the life you want. It applies if:
- You are in a rut and want to jump-start your life.
- Your life has been spinning out of control and you want to make a serious change.
- You want to cultivate a new habit which is fundamentally linked to other habits.
- You love to make big changes to your life.
How to Start
Step 1: Pick the habits you want to adopt
Refer to the list of habits here for your inspiration. It’s best if these habits are linked – meaning, achieving one increases the likelihood of achieving the other. The simplest example is sleeping early and waking up early. Another example is leaving work by 6pm and exercising every evening.
- Wake up at 6am.
- Sleep no later than midnight. Sleeping by midnight will increase the likelihood of you waking early.
- Being on time. When you wake up early, you can be on time for your appointments.
- Meditate every evening. When you’re in the right headspace, easing into a meditation routine becomes easier too.
Step 2: Know why you are doing this
While idea of a mega trial may sound fun and motivating, such motivational sparks can only carry you through for a few days. To achieve success for the 21 days, you need a strong reason why you want to cultivate these habits.
When I want to do a lifestyle revamp, it’s because I’ve been living the flip side of my target habits for months. I’ve experienced what they are like and they are not all that great. Not only that, but there are undesirable effects such as low productivity, lack of control over my life, and imbalance of my work and social life. By sleeping early, waking early, eating healthily, etc., it creates a positive structure for my daily routine, which helps everything flow into place.
Step 3: Follow the strategies for the 21-Day Habit Trial
I have written 6 success strategies for 21-Day Trial which apply to the 21-day lifestyle revamp program too.
This is part of the Cultivate Good Habits Series. Be sure to check out the full series:
- 21 Days To Cultivate Life Transforming Habits
- 21-Day Lifestyle Revamp Program
- Waking Early: 9 Reasons to Wake Up Early | 21 Tips To Wake Up Early
- Quitting Soda: 5 Reasons To Quit Drinking Soda (& How to Do It)
- Improve Your Posture: Benefits Of A Good Posture (& 13 Tips To Do It)
- Be TV-Free: 10 Reasons You Should Stop Watching TV
- Being On Time: 17 Tips To Be On Time
- Meditation: 10 Reasons You Should Meditate | How to Meditate in 5 Simple Steps
- Manage Emails Effectively: How to Be an Email Master
- Run Barefoot: 10 Reasons You Should Start Running Barefoot
- Weight Loss: 25 Of My Best Weight Loss Tips
- Emotional Eating: How to Stop Emotional Eating (6-part series)
- Better Oral Care: How to Attain Healthier Gums and Teeth – An Important Guide