HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO BUILD A HABIT?
Good habits are the foundation of a good morning. But how many times do you have to do something before it actually becomes a habit
You can always change, and always pick up better habits, that’s part of why we started Good Mornings, to make ourselves better by 1% every day. But it’s a myth to think that you can make a decision to make a change and the change will come into effect immediately.
There’s a common saying that it takes 21 days to build a habit. It almost feels like a given now, repeat something 21 days and it will be part of a routine; like brushing your teeth or locking the door as you leave the house.
But where did this actually come from and how much truth is in it? Repetitiveness does form a habit - but the amount of times we have to repeat it before it is embedded in our psyche actually differs. A study by the European Journal of Social Psychology showed that it can take between 18 - 254 days to fully form a habit. The rule of 21 sits within this frame but the last thing we want to do is have people get disheartened when they hit 21 and it still seems like a struggle because simply this isn’t enough time on the whole for a new habit to actually form.
The habit you are putting into place will dictate how long it takes. For example listening to your favourite music in the morning will be quicker to adopt than doing 40 push ups when you first get out of bed. The time it takes will also vary person to person. Some people are very quick to pick up new habits and stick to them; this tends to be people who crave routine in their daily lives. We’re all different and that’s the beauty in the world really. When we look at an actual average time for forming a new habit. The total number of days sits somewhere near 66 days. Which may seem a bit disheartening (I mean it’s 3x the traditional 21 days we all thought); but consciously trying something everyday is not only great for forming new habits - but it also trains you to be mindfully aware because you are thinking about what you are doing, rather than driving in autopilot. So it may take a little longer than we traditionally thought to form a habit - but that’s why we’re here. To help you stay on track day by day and build better habits, for yourself, for the environment and for everyone around you.