Trying to lose weight?
Want to step up your work performance?
The importance of developing excellent habits in order to reach lofty goals is well-known. However, James Clear and Charles Duhigg (The Power of Habit) have studied the efficacy of habit-making and, after reading their work, I found 2 findings especially enlightening and helpful:
- Habits generally take 66 days to form permanently and;
- Considering making a “habit” a personal rule (“I never eat candy” or “I always workout at 6am”) for example.
Clear admits that although the (commonly held) belief that it takes 21 days for a habit to hold sounds better than 66, it’s actually inspiring to know that it takes longer. If you “fall off the wagon” within the 21 days, you know that you haven’t failed. You just get back up and continue the work.The habit hasn’t formed permanently yet. Don’t give up!
Personally, I feel a difference between saying “I want a,b,c, to be a new habit” vs. “My rule is a,b,c.” It feels permanent and there is no wiggle room.