As Victorians ease out of lockdown, bad habits picked up during the pandemic need to be replaced by good habits.
“The change in circumstances may be a disruption to our routines that we can leverage to either change our current behaviours or embed the ones we want to continue,” BahaviourWorks research fellow Dr Brenda White said.
With the change to our lives following eased restrictions, now is a great time to shed bad habits and replace them with good ones such as exercise routines or hobbies.
Research shows it takes about 66 days to establish a habit, and while bad habits are easier to adopt than good ones – because they favour short-term enjoyment over long-term outcomes – both have equal staying power once established.
“It may seem hard to believe, but good habits are as strong as those pesky bad ones,” Dr Wright said.
“If you want to keep good habits after lockdown, it’s easier if the time and place remain constant.
“If that’s not possible, motivation and planning are key.
“When it comes to bad habits, removing the opportunity to engage in the behaviour is a good strategy.”
According to co-Researcher Dr Fraser Tull, if iso-snacking is your vice, identify when this usually occurs and try to be out of the house doing another activity during this time.
“Bad habits are likely to be more prevalent during lockdown than good habits,” he said.
“The pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty, especially in the metro area where people weren’t sure how long restrictions would last.
“This long-term uncertainty may have nudged people to focus more on short-term enjoyment.”