Business coaching, English

Why is it hard to change habits?

2. mart 2024.


Change as change is always difficult – both for us adults who consciously strive for a change and for children similarly.

The reasons why change is so difficult for us in life are multiple; I will mention only a few:

– the human organism is constructed in such a way that it tends to ‚‚maintain the existing state‚‚ which means that it is somehow innate and natural for us to resist change (including not only the body but also our psychosynthesis – and as follows, habits)

– every change is stressful and even a positive one (there is negative stress and there is also positive stress); it practically means that the individual will react even to a positive change as a struggle with a stressful situation. And it is in the nature of human beings to avoid stressful situations

habits: acquiring new habits and adopting them takes time; practice is also necessary, sometimes even daily repetition, all in all, hard and tiring work


time: how long it takes to acquire new habits is a topic that is ubiquitous in the media today. A large number of ‚‚spiritual teachers‚‚ promise that they can change our habits and claim to have found a ‚‚magic formula‚‚ . Some claim that it only takes 21 days, others 2-3 months, others say about 6 months, and others believe that to ‚‚delete‚‚ bad habits, it takes exactly as much time as it took us to create them. I would not agree with the last theory for the simple reason that we all know how little time we need on vacation to forget about getting up at 06:00 in the morning; basically, only a day or two. Maybe on the first day of vacation we wake up as usual at 06:00 a.m., on the second day we will already sleep through that time without waking up, which means that after a day or two the body has already ‚‚erased‚‚ the habit of getting up early and moved on to vacation mode. As for other theories, for now there is no evidence in practice that a period of 3 weeks (21 days) is enough to, by repeating a specific action, really acquire a habit that will become established (e.g. every day from 19:00-20:00 pm the child solves math problems and we expect that after 3 weeks he will get into the habit of doing math every evening at that time). For all the above reasons, the question of time in acquiring new habits is considered individual – which in essence it is because human behavior is influenced by a number of factors – factors that are different for each individual.

– in nature there is a law of ‚‚economizing with energy‚‚ which means that living beings try to achieve the greatest effect / the best result with the least amount of energy invested. This means that the child will also try to invest as little energy/effort as possible in order to achieve a certain goal (for this reason, copying and slacking off in class). By teaching a child to walk on the right path (it means that he does not try to get to the goal by a shortcut (by, for example, copying instead of learning the lesson), we are practically going against the above-mentioned law of nature, and that is in practice very chalenging

acquired helplessness: if the child is used to always having someone with him – someone who will do his tasks for him and instead of him, there is a possibility that he has developed the syndrome of acquired helplessness, which in practice means that the child is capable of certain actions but does not perform because he believes (or others have convinced him) that he cannot perform that specific action. When working with children, we often go against this phenomenon, and it is an extremely long-term process that in practice means learning that particular action from scratch (regardless of the fact that a child of his age should already know something like that). So we practically repeat the process of education instead of the parents (for example, the child does not know how to hold a spoon and fork, he never cleans up after himself in the home where he lives, if he needs to turn on the television or some device, he looks helplessly at the staff, cries, reacts violently and thinks that ‚‚insurmountable‚‚ a problem for which he needs some ‚‚special‚‚ knowledge – knowledge that only mom or dad has)

acquiring new skills (which will ideally become a habit) is essentially a learning process; and the process as a process – apart from the fact that it takes long time, it also requires a specific work methodology. For example: learning new concepts by connecting them with something already known, learning by branching out the basic topic (tree method), learning by trial and error, learning by upgrading, etc.


– and finally, let’s not forget the most important thing for acquiring habits, which is: REPETITION!

Because, as the old Greek proverb teaches us, repetition is the mother of learning!

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