Developing Habits


We are into the second week of the New Year and many of us are in high spirits with the thoughts of the changes we will be making in 2014.  In my post on New Years Day I mentioned that many people fail to make the changes they desire because they do not have a well thought out plan to do so.

Changes, especially big ones like, eating right, quit smoking or getting into shape take a well thought out plan of attack.  Good habits are difficult to develop and bad habits are difficult to break.

It takes discipline to develop a habit of change.  Once the new behavior that you are trying to develop becomes habit it will take much less discipline to keep it going.

Researchers at the University College of London in 2009 did a study that results showed that it takes an average of 66 days to acquire a new habit.  The full range was 18 to 254 days, but the 66 days represented a “sweet spot” with easier behaviors taking fewer days on average and tough ones taking longer.

It is important to realize that whatever the change is that you wish to make, you have to really have the desire and willpower to do it.

In the book “The One Thing” author Gary Keller states, “For most of my life I never gave willpower much thought.  Once I did, it captivated me.  The ability to control oneself to determine one’s actions is a pretty powerful idea.  Base it on training and it is called discipline.  But to do it because you simply can, that is raw power.  The power of will.”

As I personally thought about the above it captivated me also.  Pretty powerful to think we actually can change and accomplish the desires of our heart and mind.

This is one book that I would recommend to be on your reading list for 2014.

Happy Monday to you all!

The One Thing

66 Days to form a habit

4 thoughts on “Developing Habits

  1. Good advice Tina. Other studies show that a habit is formed after 21 days of continual activity or abstinence, but is embedded after approx. 4 months. At this stage it’s harder to give up than to continue. My ONE tip is to identify the benefit of something you want to give up (EG: smoking) and make sure you replace that benefit with a new positive habit. If you’re trying to start something (EG: Getting fit) create a reward system so that you are motivated. 🙂

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