For years we have been told it takes 21 days to break an old habit or develop a new habit. Now researchers tell us why. It takes three weeks to establish a new thought pattern. Research proves it takes 21 days, 3 weeks, to develop new neuro-pathways in the brain (google Dr. Caroline Leaf research). Three weeks for a new truth to take root.
The secret is we need to practice and reinforce the new pathway every day (possibly several times a day) to create it so solidly that our thinking does not “automatically” jump back on the old pathway.
Think of a trail. The first time someone walks a route, there is almost no sign of their passing. But if they go over that route over and over, soon an obvious trail emerges.
Motorbike or cow trails are prominent examples.
Consistency of action entrenches the pathway.
Consistent daily trudging the same trail over and over establishes the new neuro-pathways, new way of thinking, until it is the automatic “go-to” pathway of thinking.
To help with renewing the mind, I have written several Scripture Meditation Walks (SMW). For each topic there are 21 scriptures. It is a simple write and recite exercise.
Each day, write the scripture for that day (ex: on a 3×5 card or in your prayer/gratitude journal). Refer to it many times a day. Read it out loud.
Go for a walk (even if it is only inside your home) and recite the scripture in a cadence with your steps. Example: Day 1 of “Who I am” 1. I am a child of God John 1:12 But to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God. Pace one say, “But to all,” next step “who received Him,” then “to those who believed,” next “in His name,” …you get the idea. Walk to the end of your driveway, end of your block, around your block – the time you walk is up to you but I suggest as long of a walk as possible.
Saying the new mindset out loud and in tempo helps to ingrain the new neuro-pathway stronger.
All SMW take 21 days. Many people struggle with the self-discipline needed to write and recite daily. Practice. It may take you 42 days or longer to learn to discipline yourself in this simple exercise. Practice write, recite, walk. It will establish this right thinking pathway in your mind.
Request a SMW from me. The present topics are: Encouragement, Protection, Guidance, Forgiveness, Who Am I, Wisdom, Fear, Healing, Ministry, Prayer, Holy Spirit, Trials, Provision, and Trust. In the process of development are Doubt and Blessings.