How Many Days to Break a Habit? More Like How Many Days To Change My Life Completely!

 
 

Let’s be clear on one thing; you are your habits.

The mass of physical and metaphysical aspects that you call yourself is identified by its actions, and we call your most repeated, routine, and recognizable actions as your habits.

This makes habits pretty darn important to a human being, because if you are your habits, then what do your habits say about you?

Early bird or night owl, gym rat or couch potato, we’re very accustomed to identifying each other by our habitual traits.

Which brings to question, how long does it take to create a habit?

A study published by the European Journal of Social Psychology indicated that it takes around 66 days on average for a habit to become ingrained.

But that was just the average, the actual numbers during the study ranged from quite a bit - 18 all the way to 254 days. Yikes.

That means, making a new habit could take a long time! Though if you ask anyone that is determined to learn how to make their life better, they’ll tell you that time shouldn’t be a factor, at least not one that you overly concern yourself with, actually evaluating your environment will be a bigger factor in changing your life.

But just to drive the point across let me say it again; learning how to change your life for the better is about the progress made, not the time - which is something we've talked about before. You’re already spending your time wisely if that is your goal.

But what about breaking a habit? How long would that take?

You may have read somewhere that it takes 21 days to break a habit, well, we have to break it to ya, that’s not true at all.

The idea that it takes 21 days to break habits comes from the misuse of information from a 1960’s book called Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz.

Maltz was a plastic surgeon who noted in the book that it took patients around 21 days to get accustomed to their new face.

Somehow, this then was taken by the general public to mean that it takes 21 days for our brains to adjust to new parameters.

But the reality is that there’s no real set time on how many days it takes to break a habit.

In fact, it might be more helpful if the ideology of breaking a habit was redesigned to better help human beings understand how they can improve themselves.

See, it’s actually easier to get used to a new habit than it is to break an old one.

So the mindset shift that needs to happen should be that you start thinking “Okay, I’m going to start jogging in the evenings!” instead of, “Oh man, I need to stop spending my entire evening on Netflix.”

What do you think is easier, trying to break out of something that comforts you, or slowly replacing it with something that’s good for you?

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So yeah, it may take you anywhere from half a month to a full year to develop a habit, but the point is to get started, especially if this is all to make your life better!

If you want to consider a new habit that is overflowing with positivity, check out my newsletter and all the helpful insights on personal growth we provide.

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