New Year’s Resolutions: It Takes a Community and 21 Days to Change a Habit
HOUSTON, Nov. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — To change a habit, it takes 21 days –and a community. That’s according to a new website, LoopChange, http://www.LoopChange.com.
The new website is perfect for people who ask:
- How can I lose weight?
- How can I exercise regularly?
- How can I stop smoking?
- How can I balance my life and spend more time with my kids?
- How can I make time to read the Bible every day?
People post their goals on the website and community members encourage each other to stick with their plan to reach their goal.
The idea for the website came from Steve Simpson, an oil and gas executive in nearby Conroe, TX, who wants to provide more encouragement for people.
“My life was stale. I was having trouble changing habits,” he said. “I found a friend and we encouraged each other. Having a person encourage you really does give you the help you need to change a habit or develop a new habit.”
Research shows that it takes most people 21 days to develop a habit. But most people give up too soon because they don’t have the willpower to continue. Just think of your New Year’s Resolutions that are forgotten shortly after they are made.
That’s where the community comes in to play.
“It takes strength to make changes in your life, whether it is a little thing like biting your nails or a big thing like finding time to spend with your kids,” he said.
“When I was growing up, I didn’t have a lot of encouragement in my life. As an adult, I realized how powerful encouragement is,” said Simpson. “I have 2 kids, ages 6 and 3. Being a parent and a sports coach, it amazes me how much a single word of encouragement can help motivate someone.”
The accountability section works in two ways.
Once you’ve begun a mission, you’ll find that people are reading what you’ve written and commenting on it. They might be encouraging you, letting you know how you’ve inspired them, pointing out flaws in your thinking, or sharing their experiences if they’ve faced similar struggles. This will create some accountability on your part since other people will have taken a vested interest in your progress.
Second, if you fail to update your mission for a period of 24 hours, you’ll receive an email from the website. This email will remind you that you haven’t updated your mission; and it will tell you how many times your mission has been viewed since you last updated it.
“If 25 people have checked your mission to see if it’s been updated (and it hasn’t) you’re probably going to want to let them know what is happening with you. They care. They are interested. You are significant to them, so don’t let them down!” he said.
The site does not accept advertising and Simpson has no financial plans for the site.
“This site really is a labor of love and my way of giving back and helping make the world a better place,” he said. “I found a system that worked for me. I thought it would work for other people. I like encouraging people.”
“First and foremost the website is a tool for helping people become the person they want to become. I equate it to free life coaching,” he said.
The site went online in June. About 250 people have signed up to get encouragement and to encourage others.
Visitors to the site who have become members of the community have reported they have:
- Gotten a new outlook on life
- Improved sleeping patterns
- Studied more for school
- Meditated every day
- Written three things he is thankful for
- Read the Bible every day
- Drunk enough water based on doctor’s recommendations
- Given up TV for 21 days
- Cut out social drinking
He has high hopes for the site.
“In a perfect world, a community would form. The community would consist of people who want to help improve themselves one little thing at a time, and encourage other people. They would be an accountable group of people who are excited by helping each other.”
He really wants to change the mindset of some people who like to put others down.
“In our world, some people are happier when others fail. It makes them feel bad if others succeed. It reminds them of their own inadequacies. I think it would be cool if we could break that,” he said.
To break a habit, go to http://www.loopchange.com.