I thought of this thread this morning as I was reading one of my daily newsletters (the Six Minute Mile
). I've always heard that it takes 21 days to form a habit, but apparently that's been debunked! These days, researchers are saying that on average (yes - average) it takes abut 66 days to form a new habit - or, a little over two months. I mentioned the average, because they also found it could take up to 285 days for a habit to really sink in. The broad range, they say, is largely due to the new habit itself (drinking an extra glass of water per day might be easier than starting 50 pushups a day, for instance.)
A couple of other things they found
- Missing a single day did not reduce the chance of forming a habit.
- A sub-group took much longer than the others to form their habits, perhaps suggesting some people are 'habit-resistant'.
- Other types of habits may well take much longer.
I think there may be other factors, too - like, how motivated you are to change or form a habit, and why you're doing what you're doing. For instance, it's always easier for me to get back in a running habit if I'm training for a race or easier for me to pick up journaling when I've got a lot going on that I want to reflect on.
Either way, it was really nice to "hear" (read) this last bit of the blog post
: "If this month didn't go as planned for you, fine. Forget those three-week deadlines. Your 66 days (or 254, or whatever it takes) starts now."
How's everyone else feeling about goals they set, or habits you're trying out?
Sent: 12-29-2022 09:28
From: James Klynman
Subject: New Year's
I think looking back at your accomplishments over the past year is a nice way to plan what your new accomplishment goals will be in the coming year. I say goals because resolutions are too easy to break, but a short- or long-term goal has a greater commitment.
We seem to go further when we look through the front windshield of life and not in the rear-view mirror.
May everyone have a safe, happy and healthy New Year in 2023.
"Have a Great Day or Create One"
Rev. Jim Klynman