How Much Time To Change A Habit?
Sunday, January 05, 2014
This week's Brainpickings email suggests that though we've been told it takes 21 days to change a habit, this is only generally true for habits like "Drink a glass of water after breakfast." To add a habit such as walking and have it come internally, effortlessly and automatically, we might need up to a year of conscious persistence. For someone externally motivated like myself, that means I might benefit from up to a year of reminders as I set the new behavior pattern into place.
But it's funny how some reminders spark resistance and only a few are fruitful. I need to take note of which are which. When my husband reminds me to exercise, I immediately resist. But when someone or something neutral reminds me, though the reminder is less powerful, it also sparks less resistance. I need to walk the line between a weak reminder which I can ignore, and a strong reminder which I immediately rebel against.