How Long Does It Take To Form a Habit?
The Christmas and New Year festivities are coming to end, your clothes are a little tighter and for most people, it’s time to go back to “normal life”, it’s also probably the perfect chance to start thinking about your New Year’s resolutions and what you want to achieve this year.
But how can we try to actually do what we say we are going to do?
By understanding how long it takes to make a habit or desired task automatic.
Your goal (like mine) this year may be “lose 10kgs by March” (Yes I ate a lot). One of the main activities I will need to do (among others) will be exercising every day.
So now I know one of the habits I need to do to shed some weight, how long will it take on average to make this habit automatic?
Research shows that it takes a little over 2 months! In fact, 66 days to be exact!
And can go up to as long as 254 days depending on the task.
Knowing this timeframe, can you look back at previous goals and resolutions and realize why you may have not achieved them? There is a good chance you didn’t stick it out for a minimum of 66 days!
Now before you get overwhelmed by the length of time it takes, the research also indicates that we don’t have to be perfect within the 66 day period!
It states, “missing one opportunity to perform the behavior did not materially affect the habit formation process.” Meaning, it is not the end of the world if you happen to have an off day and don’t manage to do that task. It is however important that we are overall consistent.
Being aware of how this works is crucial to understanding how you can implement certain tasks to get you towards achieving your goals and start making them a habit that comes naturally to you.
What are your goals this year?
I’d love to know what yours are, comment below :)