Does it really take 21 days?.
Let us look at How Long it Really Takes to Build a New
According to various studies, it takes anywhere between 21 and 254 days for a person to form a new habit. But, if you ask people, how long it takes to form a habit, many people will respond 21 days. So, How this myth of 21 days took off. The answer can be traced back to Psycho-Cybernetics, a book published in the year 1960 by Doctor Maxwell Maltz.
According to his research, he found that it would take the patient about 21 days to get used to see the new changes in their condition. Like this study, there are various other studies that states 66 days 90 days etc.,
Simple habits like drinking a bottle of water before breakfast or, A difficult tasks like running for 30 minutes before dinner. There is NO magical number how many days it takes to form a habit. It is purely depending on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances. There is no need to judge yourself if you can't master a behavior in 21 days.
Let us see the psychology of forming a habit.
For example, when you leave home daily, you automatically take your mobile phone. You don’t think about why you taking it. Simply because, much of your daily lives are taken up by habits that you have formed over time. Naturally your brain likes habits which are essential. Sometimes, such habits help you free up mental resources for other tasks. Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do on a daily basis. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization.
Do you ever find yourself standing at the refrigerator, when you are not hungry?. Or Do you drive to the nearby supermarket while you could have just walked?. These are not healthy habits. So how do you change it?. Very first step is, to become more aware of your own habits. Try to develop strategies to change them. Sometimes certain group of people are triggers. Look at who you are associating with or socializing with. Do they inspire you or do they drag you down?. Try to spend some time every day envisioning yourself with new habits. Monitor your negative self-talk. When you have thoughts like, “I’m fat” or “No one likes me,”. Reframe it. Replace it with, “I’m getting healthy", or “I am thinking differently. Have short time goals and take small necessary steps. Remember, there is no one solution that could fit for all.
Dangerous lesson is, if enough people say something enough times, then everyone else starts to believe it. There’s no one-size-fits-all figure, which is why, time frame is so broad. Some habits are easier to form than others. And some people may find it easier to develop new behaviors.
At the end of the day, how long it takes to form a particular habit doesn't really matter that much. Whether it takes 21 days or 254 days, All you need to do is to put in the work either way. The only way to get to form a habit, is to start with Day 1. So forget about the number and focus on doing the work.