Have you heard the saying that it takes 21 days to create a habit? I don’t know about you, but I have found that it’s not that easy. In fact, most recent research on habit forming suggests the 21 day theory is just a myth.

So how do we form great habits? One writer Jason Selk explains there are 3 stages to forming habits:

Stage one is the honeymoon stage where we are totally inspired and we make changes simply based on the buzz.

The second stage is all about the fight through. This is where reality sets in and we need to ask ourselves two questions: “How will I feel if I do this?” and “How will I feel if I don’t do this?” At this stage we need to breathe deep and keep pushing through. It’s hard work.

The third stage is when we start to feel like the new behaviour is like second nature and is often described by feelings of “getting in the groove.” We still need to be aware of discouragements, disruptions to our new habit though. Jason Selk suggests that if you have a set back then we need 2-3 wins to get us back on track.

This three stage process is a bit more realistic and when reflecting on how I form new habits in my life  it matched my experience. The 21 day theory was just too good to be true especially when trying to go to the gym. I needed a good year or so.

So how does this habit forming matter at Thinkers.inq? Here we are all about thinking and inquiry, hence Thinkers.inq. We are all about forming great thinking habits. We do this by using a wonderful thinking tool called Habits of Minds. Habits of Mind helps us think in a whole lot of different ways and assists us in forming great thinking habits. There are 16 thinking habits to use and explore.

The first habit of mind is PERSISTING: just sticking to it. Preserving in our thinking is all about seeing a task through to completion. When we use this habit we keep trying, remaining focused on learning without giving up. This is an important tool to be able to use when solving problems for both children and adults. Everyday at Thinkers.inq we have a daily challenge, it is a task designed to help build our persistent thinking skills. We think out loud together and look for new ways to solve the challenge. Doing it together helps with the perseverance. It is great to hear and see the children and their teachers listening to each other, corporately making decisions and finding all sort of solutions together.

The Thinkers.inq challenge for you today is stick with it when faced with a problem. Don’t give up till you have shared your thinking with another person to find that solution. Don’t give up, push through and see how great you feel afterwards. Finally, make sure you celebrate your newly formed habit and accompanying success to reinforce your persistent thinking.