With all the information about habits and goal-setting out there, I’m hoping to tell it to you straight. Here are a few bullet points (yes, bullet points!) with facts mostly about forming habits. Breaking a habit is harder than forming a habit, and it is difficult to summarize the major points of research in a few bullet points. Think of this as a SparkNotes summary about habits!
6 Facts About Habits:
- Habits are easier to make than break. (howstuffworks)
- Repeating behavior helps form habits. The more often you repeat behavior, the stronger the habit you are forming. (howstuffworks)
- You can’t “think” your way into a new habit. You must take action. (Psychology Today)
- It can be easier to change bad habits when you’re in a different environment where the bad habit cute is absent. Taking a vacation (or putting yourself in a different environment) can help break certain habits (NPR)
- Habits are context-dependent and need a cue to be automatically triggered (ResolutionTweet)
- As you form your habit, you use less and less mental energy to do so since the habit is being automatically triggered, leaving more mental energy for other things. (NPR) Don’t we all want more mental energy?
The Common Myth:
It takes a 21 days to form a habit. FALSE! The old rule is a common myth. It has been said through various sources that the “21 Days Myth” has come from observation and not from actual clinical trials.
Scientists at UCL actually said it takes 66 days on average to form a habit.(ResolutionTweet)
Here are the sources I used. Feel free to continue your own research or explore the facts in more detail!