How long does it take to form a habit?

New habits take around 28 days to form.

​​​​​​​That means it takes 28 days of doing something, for it to be quite easy for you to do it. For it to get on autopilot.

Your body wants habits. It takes less brain energy to do a habit.

How hard would you find it to NOT brush your teeth? On the rare occasion you don’t brush them till later in the day, or you are at a ​​​​​​​hotel and you’ve forgot your toothbrush (and they don’t have one) you feel really awkward until you can brush them.

It’s much easier for you to brush your teeth than it is to not brush them.

When you do something everyday, it becomes easier to do than to not do it.

​​​​​​​The key, is to get your habits into good habits.

​​​​​​​I was talking to Sophie this morning on the phone about one of my habits I’ve recently changed. Monday, Wednesday, Friday are my MTB Fitness days. Sophie leaves for work at about 6.40 on those days.

​​​​​​​I used to be in the habit of laying on the sofa in a blanket while she got ready. I’d see her off, and then slowly get ready. It ​​​​​​​could be 9am before I was up, ready and working. Not good.

​​​​​​​Now. I get in the shower when she goes upstairs to get ready. I get dressed, get my clothes on and get my food in the bag and laptop ready. Then, I leave the house with her and get to my local coffee shop (Java) for​​​​for their 7am open. I do that every Monday, Wednesday, Friday now.

It’s a habit. It’s at the point now where grabbing the blanket and getting on the sofa would feel WEIRD. I’d really struggle to do it. I’ve made ​​​​​​​getting out with Sophie and getting to Java the habit.

It took a period of pushing through the lure of the sofa…but now it’s been more than 28 days it’s easy. I really look forward to my 7am start. I get ​​​​​​​to sit with a coffee, plan my day and really get ahead of myself. I’m writing
​​​​​​​this email at 9.30am and I’ve done loads of work already.

The takeaway point?

For any new habit you want to get into place, you need to understand it takes 28 days to form. Their will be a part where it’s hard to get started… but when you do it regularly a habit will form.

To break a bad habit you need to be disciplined for a while… but then it
gets easy. That’s how people eat well everyday. Go to the gym daily. Sleep
at the same time. It’s all about habits.

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