Give it 30 days: Making or breaking habits

It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to give up smoking or having a crack at introducing a new exercise regime, popular wisdom says it takes 30 days to make or break a habit. 

We’re sharing some great ideas for helping you get through that crucial first month to achieve your health and fitness goals.

Promise to dedicate a little time every day

A month is a good amount of time to give a habit the opportunity to stick, but only if you give it the opportunity to become a routine. To form a new habit, you really have to be strict with yourself during those first 30 days.

Start small and aim high

That said, if you try and launch into a brand new routine on the first day, you’re more likely to burn out. For habits that last, you want to introduce them a little bit at the time, making it much easier for you to adapt to the change.

Plan perfect rewards 

To really commit to new habits, you need to find a way to make them seem worth your while. Lots of bad habits feel as though they have positive rewards so you need to find good experiences to associate with better habits, for example, a smoothie after a trip to the gym.

Remove temptation

If possible, remove temptation from your home. If you’re giving up smoking, throw out all of your cigarettes. If you’re planning to exercise more, cancel your TV subscription. By making it harder to cheat, you’ll be doing yourself a big favour when you’re willpower begins to waver.

Set a reminder for the halfway point

When you’re halfway through your 30 days, you may find you’ve forgotten what made you so keen to make the change in the first place. Keep your energy going by setting reminders, on your phone or in your calendar, to make time for your new habit every single day for the duration.

Find the right substitute  

Rather than snacking on unhealthy food, sneaking a cigarette or drinking sugary drinks, get into the habit of having a cold glass of water. Chill a pitcher in your fridge and add cucumber, lemon or fresh berries for a delicate flavouring that will make it even more tempting.

Know exactly why you’re doing it

Motivate yourself to make a change and stick to it by spending some time educating yourself about the benefits of the switch. If you know exactly what forming this new, healthier habit could do for you, it’ll be much easier to follow through.

Do you have a surefire habit-forming tip?


The following two tabs change content below.

Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor

Hello there! I’m Rachel and I’m the Assistant Editor for Silversurfers. I work behind the scenes to bring interesting, informative and entertaining subject matter to the Silversurfers community. I hope you enjoy the features we have shared with you. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us, we love to hear from you!

Latest posts by Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor (see all)

Leave a Comment!

Not a member?

You need to be a member to interact with Silversurfers. Joining is free and simple to do. Click the button below to join today!

Click here if you have forgotten your password
22nd Feb 2015
Thanks for voting!
1. "Make a public commitment"....tell your friends and family what you are going to do and why you are going to do it. You are more likely to stick to it if you make a public commitment.
2. Set goals that are within you locus of control e.g. "I will exercise for at least 30 minutes each day for the next 30 days", not "I will lose 10lbs".
3. Remember you are only commiting to 30 days....and not necessarily to a lifetime. If u want to tweak or even drop your new habit after 30 days you can but give it a 30 day commitment.
22nd Feb 2015
Thanks for voting!
My tip is if you are giving up smoking put the cost of your cigarettes , let's say £5 in a jar every day that you don't smoke, if after 30 days you have succeeded you should then have £150 to treat yourselves with, if on the other hand you fail then donate the money you have saved to cancer research, money is a great incentive, believe me it worked for me nearly 20 years ago, and I was a heavy smoker and had tried lots of times and failed.

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!