Todd: So I'm here with Olga, who's a health coach and a life coach. You've talked a lot about things we should do, but what about stopping doing things or breaking bad habits? That's the hardest thing, right? What's your advice for giving up sugar or alcohol or obsessive behavior, things like that?
Olga: Well, actually, I am not suggesting that people fight with themselves, and they avoid or break anything, because that would constitute violence against yourself. I am a student of Marshall Rosenberg, who developed a nonviolent communication system. Instead of taking away the bad, you add something good. You find exciting, fun, new habits that will naturally substitute.
Todd: Okay, so for example, let's say you watch too much TV, or you're addicted to your smartphone. You would try to maybe play outside or do something like that.
Olga: Well, you can develop a lot of new habits and see what works for you. One of the things that I discovered for myself is that willpower is a very finite resource. We don't have infinite amounts of willpower, so we need to use it very sparingly on short distances. It's not for marathons. What I suggest, when you're establishing a new habit that you feel that is the right habit for you, you need to use a little bit of willpower to repeat it enough times. Usually magic number is 21 days.
Todd: Really? 21 days, why 21?
Olga: I have no idea, but this number keeps popping up from different traditions in East and West and also psychology. I saw it in my own practice that it works.