What do your New Year's Resolutions Have to do With NASA?
How are those New Year’s Resolutions going 22 days in?
If you're hanging on and committed, or if today is the day to start working on that change, keep reading.
Below is a little story of a research done by NASA of a process for shifting a given habit for good, once and for all. This is also a reminder of a proven method of the consistency and commitment required to effect positive change.
Years ago NASA researched how its astronauts would deal without gravity, particularly with being upside down and the stress incurred on the body in space. As part of this research, NASA had a group of astronauts wear special convex lens goggles. These goggles literally flipped their field vision 180º. The astronauts even wore them when they slept. Essentially, they saw everything upside down, their entire world inverted 24/7.
They were required to wear the goggles for 24 hours for 30 consecutive days.
What they discovered was absolutely amazing.
The first couple weeks were tough. Astronauts reported a wide variety of symptoms including digestive issues, vertigo, and high blood pressure. Let’s face it: change is not easy or comfortable, and oftentimes feels downright abnormal!
What is amazing to me is that 26 days later one of the astronauts started “seeing right side up” again! Nothing was different about the goggles, and he was still wearing them all of the time, the views were all still turned upside down, but everything now looked normal to him! And, within the next several days the same thing happened to all of the other astronauts in the experiment.
The Cool Part
Between the 25th and 30th days, they all saw “the shift”. Every astronaut’s world seemed to be back to the right way up. Their brains created fresh neural pathways that turned the upside-down image that came to their eye, the right way up. Their brains helped them function more effectively!
Then NASA repeated the experiment with a slight change. This time some of the astronauts took the goggles off for a short period of time partway through the experiment. When they put the goggles back on and left them on until the 30th day, their worlds were still upside down, but when they continued on without interruption, at 26-30 consecutive days wearing the goggles, the same thing happened – everything was suddenly right side up again.
What the scientists learned from these experiments is that the brain requires approximately 30 uninterrupted days for new neural connections to form – for new habits to form.
Breaking the continuity of the new “habit” once for only 24 hours, put the astronauts back to square one.
So, it doesn’t matter what it is!
It takes an uninterrupted period of up to 30-days to reprogram your unconscious mind and develop a new habit. This can apply to thought, posture, diet, and exercise!
So if you’re having a tough time with your New Year’s resolutions hang in there! The “shift” will happen.