It takes 28 days to form a habit, or so they say.
They say it takes 28 days to form a habit, but there seems to be a little debate about this. I’ve been some say 21 days and others say 66. I thought I’d try to find out. This experiment was back in July 2016 and I started off with a list of things I wanted to do every day. They are positive things that I wanted to make a habit. I found this so much harder than I expected to be honest.
Within the first 3 days of July 2016 was the weekend, this was the hardest time for me, weekends are usually mainly spent relaxing and not really having any set tasks to do, so suddenly jumping in with these tasks at a weekend was difficult. It got so much easier after that for a while. The difficult time came again after around 10 days. I had lots of moments where I kept thinking, ‘perhaps one day off won’t hurt’ and so many other questions around the same thing. My brain was rejecting my attempts at habit-forming with ridiculous excuses trying to take me back to my other habits that I had unintentionally formed. I guess I confused it for a while, it tried to tell me that it was useless. I was trying to change a habit of a lifetime here, what good was it all anyway?
Don’t give up
The best thing that you can do when you mind inevitably tries to force you back into your old ways, is to push through it. Do those tasks and don’t listen to your excuses. There is nothing good going to come from taking a day off. Taking a day off means you will have to restart your habit-forming back at day 1. Is it worth ruining all your hard work for?
If you’ve quit before and given up on forming those good habits, then I urge you to retry. It gets easier, I promise. I’m at the end of day 18 now and I feel it working. The tasks I need to do are in my head, although I do check a few times a day and tick them off as I go along to make sure I’m not missing anything. I am finding myself doing a lot of the tasks automatically already and it feels fantastic.
Have you had all your tasks on a list and ticked them off as you go along? If you haven’t then give it a go. It feels amazing when you get them done.
Keep forming those good habits, and if you don’t get to the end of the 28 days, try again until you get it. I’ve still got a way to go, but I am determined to get to the end of this month and have completed every day. I won’t stop there, I am continuing and I don’t quit.
It takes 28 – 30 days to form a habit so they say, but you must still continue and check your list for a while. It can be easy to slip back into your old habits too and you don’t want to do that. It’s very easy to fall out of the good habits you’ve formed too though if you’re not conscious of it. Keep pushing through and you will get there.
I realised that 28 days is the starting block to creating a good habit, but it doesn’t become automatic after that point, it takes a while longer. It definitely get’s easier after that point though if you continue trying. So, if you are thinking of trying to form new habits, then don’t expect it to just take 28 days and it will be automatic and you won’t have to think about them because you will have to for a while longer.
You don’t have to start a new habit, and think long term either, just a day at a time, and if you skip a day, just continue and keep going. Don’t beat yourself up for missing a day.