We tend to be really hard on ourselves, especially around the new year: We yell at ourselves to stop spending, stop cursing, stop eating junk food. And, you know, these things are hard…to a point.
Nearly all resolutions work the same way, if we manage to keep them. At first, we struggle to wake ourselves up for a morning run and count each mile as we huff and puff past it. Then, over time, we adjust to waking up an hour earlier as that run becomes part of our daily routine. The key isn’t just about physical endurance—it’s the fact that, once we turn a resolution into a habit, we no longer have to think so hard in order to get it done.
What Crossing Our Arms Tells Us About Getting Things Done.
Studies have shown that it takes people 21 days to form a habit. To see what we mean, fold your arms normally. Now, unfold them and refold them the opposite way, with the other arm on top. Although you’re entirely capable of doing so, it almost certainly requires a lot more thought. If you wanted to change the way you crossed your arms, it would take about 21 days of practice the new way before you started doing it regularly without training.
This Weekend, Take A Freakin’ Break.
Today’s the 21st, so if you’ve been keeping your new year’s resolutions so far, the right habits are all in place. This weekend, avoid resolution burnout by throwing caution to the wind and doing what feels right. Cut loose—go out with your friends, eat to excess, stay up until the sun rises, flirt with a stranger. This weekend is about you. You can go back to that no-cursing rule on Monday, dammit.
After all, once you’ve learned to cross your arms another way, you don’t actually have to practice crossing them every day.