Habit Forming

How do you form a habit? 

Repeat the desired habit everyday or on a regular schedule until it becomes automatic and comfortable (second nature).

How many days does it take to form a new habit?

There seems to be some debate and variables but on average it can take between 21 and 66 days to form a habit.

What kind of variables effect the number of days it takes to form a habit? 

It seems that the main variable is the intensity of the desired habit. For instance if you do not work out at all and want to form a habit of working out everyday for an hour, this would take longer to form. However if you wanted to start working out for 5 minutes everyday this would take less time.

Other variables could include: Health, desire, motivation, support, ability, etc

How do I start?

Pick a habit that you want to form and simplify it so you can start small.  Example. ….I want to stop drinking soda and I currently drink 3 sodas a day. For the first 3 weeks I will cut down to 2 sodas a day. Then I will cut back to 1 one a day during the second 3 weeks. Finally I will cut down to no sodas a day during the third 3 weeks.

Summary:

If you pick a small realistic habit or goal and repeat it everyday (or regularly) for 3 weeks (21 days) it is likely that you will form a new habit!

Resources

http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/human-brain/form-a-habit.htm

http://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk/blog/a-new-habit/

http://zenhabits.net/habitses/

http://jamesclear.com/habit-guide

http://jamesclear.com/new-habit

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