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Forming Habits

Habit Signs

The 21-day myth

Forming good habits is definitely one of the toughest tasks to complete. Research indicates that forming a habit can take anywhere from 18 days to 254 days.

On average, it took people 66 days for a new healthy habit to feel automatic — things like eating a piece of fruit with lunch, or drinking a glass of water after breakfast, found the 2010 UK study, led by University College London research psychologist Pippa Lally. The data was self-reported, which means there’s a chance the people weren’t totally accurate, or honest. And the time it took for the habit to form varied widely: For some people, the healthy habits felt automatic after just 18 days — for others, it took 254 days.

Rather than give pointers on how to build habits, I am going to turn the question on it's head.

What happens if we don't build good habits?

The answer to this question is not straight forward. The quickest way to get an answer to this question is through some logical reasoning.

Not building good habits implies that we are building bad ones

The consequences of not building good habits is obvious from the reasoning above. As humans we tend to build habits. If we don't build an habit of running every morning, we fallback to building a habit of laziness. This happens subconsciously. We form habits without even realising it.

All habits, good or bad, are programmed into our personality over time. Look at any successful personality and you will find a trail of good habits that they have left behind.

So, what's your decision. Do you want to build good habits and great personality (over time) or subconsciously form bad habits? The choice is yours.

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