How Long Does It Really Take To Form A Habit???

How long does it take to create a habit?

I’ve been asked this question about how long it takes to form a habit by a lot of people.

When someone asks the question, what they really want to know is how long does it take before it becomes easy?

The popular belief is that it takes 21-30 days to create a habit. But this is a myth that is largely attributed to the opinion of a plastic surgeon in the 1950’s named Dr Maxwell Maltz (yes, you read that right – look it up if you don’t believe me).

Then a few years ago, there was a study done out of University College London that found it takes an average of 66 days for a habit to form, but it ranged anywhere from 18 to 254 days. It depends on the specific habit, the person trying to create the habit, and the circumstances.

Here’s the truth…

How long does it take to create a habit?

Who cares! Because when you stop doing it, it is no longer a habit.

Regardless of what any number says, a habit is something we do consistently over time. It’s not like after 66 days, it will magically stay with us forever and we no longer have to make an effort. I’ve been exercising for over 20 years (longer if you include youth sports) and there are plenty of days where getting up to exercise takes all of the mental strength I possess.

Yes, the more we do a behavior, like exercise, the more it becomes a part of who we are and how we live our lives. But the goal of healthy habits really shouldn’t be to form them, but rather, to enjoy them, to reap the benefits from them, and continue living with them until they no longer serve their purpose.

The bridge that lies between where you are now and where you want to be is built from your habits. If you can transform your habits, you can transform anything!

To sum up my point, I will turn it over someone way smarter than me – Aristotle. He once wrote, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore is not an act but a habit.”

Yes – what he said 🙂

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