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How habits work

How habits work

How habits work.

“We are what we do over and over again. Therefore, excellence is not an action, but a habit.” Aristotle

I want to start this pill of the day with a quote.

When your approach to martial arts and combat sports or self-defense has become a habit then it means that your behavior is aligned with your goal and every day you are taking a step forward.

The habit of:

  • go to the gym
  • eat a certain way
  • write the lesson notes you’ve done
  • stretching
  • do a context analysis when you’re out and about
  • Etc.

The examples can be many but when people start practicing martial arts or attending a structured course of personal defense must acquire the ability to do something that he did not before and in some people this can be a source of stress and fatigue because you are doing something that you are not used to doing and it is not just about creating new habits but about abandoning bad habits as well.


21 days later

Usually it says that to create a habit it takes 21 days but it is not always so, it depends on what we do but let’s see better how they work and how they create habits.

The habit (from Latin habitudo, habitudinis, physical or moral structure) is the disposition or attitude acquired through repeated experience. This provision is inherent in the behavior of humans and animals. It was the basis of the discovery of the rite of habit.

The habit is therefore the stable acquisition of a particular behavior mostly acquired by the frequent repetition of the act or experience itself for this habits are formed in the minds and it is here that they are strengthened and the extraordinary thing is that you can change or change.

Knowing the mechanisms by which habits are created becomes important to eliminate the wrong ones or modify them to have new ones or strengthen those you already have.

Habits are governed by mental mechanisms that work autonomously and that act automatically by interrupting old ones or creating new ones.

If you understand the operating mechanism of how they work it allows you to have an advantage.

If you repeat the same action several times constantly and daily, the attention and commitment required decreases, the actions become faster and the time taken decreases, to which we have acquired a habit, that is, do things automatically.

My personal problem is that I’m cluttered with sweet drinks like Coca Cola,Estathè especially lemon, etc. and for me it always remains a temptation but as you see in the image, drinking water (H2O) becomes a habit after only 18 days, while for example doing the abs every day after 50 days.

So the 21-day rule isn’t always true!

This is because the more challenging the task, the longer it takes to make it a habit but do you know the fantastic almost magical thing?.

That even if the task or the action is very difficult studies show that it never takes many days because it always takes just over 2 months, about 65 days.

This experiment was conducted by Dr Phillippa Lally of the Ucl Department of Epidemiology And Public Health Behaviour Research Centre where out of a sample of 96 subjects willing to develop a new habit, such as eating fruit in their diet or starting to play sports regularly, etc. and participants were constantly monitored not only in doing daily but also their basic propensity to “build a new habit”.


The result is that the subjects took on average about 65 days to build the new habit, but this varied according to the difficulty of the “task”.


The test

To test it was used, a simple thing “like drinking a glass of water before breakfast” and a more challenging thing like “doing abs before breakfast”.

Here are some observations made by researchers that help you understand the mechanism:

  • If you skip a day, the average learning does not change.
  • Unfortunately, some sub-groups have taken much longer than others… suggesting the existence of “resistant” personality structures.
  • If habits are extremely complex it will take longer than 65 days.

The research then concludes by saying that it takes about 65 days and not years to acquire new habits but my advice is to break the habit into micro-habits in order to make learning easier, clearly a strong motivation makes this process easier.


To acquire new habits, for example from a personal defense perspective, such as:

  • look from the peephole before leaving the front door,
  • looking around in a parking lot,
  • close the safe doors of the doors as soon as you get in the car,
  • look in the mirrors before getting out of the car,
  • turn off or keep your smartphone’s volume low when you’re in isolated and potentially dangerous areas,
  • “perceive” the movements of the people around us,
  • take a firm posture and a determined look
  • Etc.


To acquire new habits for example with a view to learning a combat sport such as the habit of :

  • go to the gym without ever skipping classes
  • eat a certain way
  • write the lesson notes you’ve done
  • stretching
  • study the techniques and try them
  • Etc.


To do this, however, you need to control some behaviors that you need to make:

  • Consider this change a personal value and enrichment
  • You firmly believe that change is possible and materialized
  • You have to be determined and determined to decide to act in this new way
  • Don’t give yourself any exceptions

There is an interesting book that I recommend you read that is called “The Dictatorship of Habits” below a scheme.


Now that you know that it takes a few weeks to acquire a habit, in this period, in addition to recording an experience, the brain also gives up voluntary control of reactions and moves to automatic control and being that your mind and body are bound and influence each other, therefore, what is created in the mind will manifest its effects also on the body creating a kind of contentment and satisfaction in succeeding.

What used to seem like an effort and complicated will become simple and fulfilling to the point that it will seem strange not to do so.

Stay Tuned!

Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport


Con una passione per la difesa personale e gli sport da combattimento, mi distinguo come praticante e fervente cultore e ricercatore sulle metodologie di allenamento e strategie di combattimento. La mia esperienza abbraccia un vasto panorama di discipline: dal dinamismo del Boxing alla precisione del Muay Thai, dalla tecnica del Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu all'energia del Grappling, dal Combat Submission Wrestling (CSW) all'intensità del Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Non solo insegno, ma vivo la filosofia di queste arti, affinando costantemente metodi e programmi di allenamento che trascendono il convenzionale. La mia essenza si riflette nell'autodifesa: Filipino Martial Arts (FMA), Dirty Boxing, Silat, l'efficacia del Jeet Kune Do & Kali, l'arte della scherma con coltelli e bastoni, e la tattica delle armi da fuoco. Incarno la filosofia "Street Fight Mentality", un approccio senza fronzoli, diretto e strategico, unito a un "State Of Love And Trust" che bilancia l'intensità con la serenità. Oltre al tatami, la mia curiosità e competenza si spingono verso orizzonti diversi: un blogger professionista con la penna sempre pronta, un bassista dal groove inconfondibile e un artigiano del coltello, dove ogni lama è un racconto di tradizione e innovazione. Questa sinfonia di abilità non solo definisce la mia identità professionale, ma dipinge il ritratto di un individuo che nella diversità trova la sua unica e inconfondibile voce e visione. Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport! Andrea


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