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Why Does Positive Change Take So Long to Stick?

Perhaps you’re finding it takes frustratingly long to recover from an injury or build up the stamina and strength you need for something you aspire to do. 

You may wonder, “What’s holding things up?!? Why is this taking so long?!?”.

Well, a lot of it comes down to habits – good or bad – and the consistency with which you need to chip away at them, or practice them.

But breaking bad habits – or building up newer and healthier ones – is so time consuming!

The difference between making a bad habit and a good one

Habits that may lead to strain are typically formed out of convenience or necessity, when you’re focused on something entirely different and your body unconsciously accommodate you.

Your mind is elsewhere as the not amazing habit is being formed – how it’s forming, why it’s happening, how long the change is occurring over time – all these things are not being catalogued by your conscious mind. 

Forming a good habit, however, feels like it takes a lot more work, because you’re actually paying attention to it. You’re working for it, or at the very least, you’re acutely aware of why you want it. 

It’s like watching paint dry. 

If you were to leave the room and watch a movie, time would pass quickly. 

Whereas, if you have to sit and consciously wait to put on that second coat, you will be acutely aware of the time that it takes. 

So it’s not really that bad habits form ‘easier’ then good habits – in a way – it’s that on one hand, it’s just a result of something else you’re distracted with, and on the other hand, you are doing something with a conscious result in mind. 

Your enthusiasm matters!

What your ‘why’ is and how much time and regularity you put in will have a huge impact on how long it takes you to reach your goals. Your ability to approach the process with an open mind, creativity and curiosity is also key. 

No goal is going to be achieved through one approach alone. Your consistency and enthusiasm to:

  • Practise and reinforce healthier habits
  • Explore other options, approaches and avenues
  • Check in with your body throughout the day
  • Have patience with the trial and error process
will all come together to chip away at the timeline you are on.


This blog entry was written by Heather and is based on what she has seen resonate with, and work for her clientele for over a decade. She is a career student who keeps her massage and yoga therapy training current, and does her best to keep up with the newest research and evidence.

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