What usually determines one person’s success and another person’s failure is the type of habits that have been built.
When you build a habit your brain is doing the heavy lifting automatically. You don’t have to force yourself to do something or even think about doing it – it just naturally happens.
However, to build that automatic habit you have to force yourself to do the same thing day in and day out until it sticks…
So how long does it take to form a habit?
It Takes An Average of 66 Days to Form a Habit
66 days. That seems like a long time doesn’t it? Especially since we’ve been told for so long that forming a new habit only takes 21 days. But unfortunately that’s not the truth.
You see, a study was performed by Phillipa Lally, a psychology researcher, to determine exactly how long it would take for participants to form a new habit.
Ninety six participants were selected for the study and each participant chose a different habit to form. Some of these habits were easy while others were more strenuous. It took anywhere from 18 to 254 days for participants to form an automatic habit.
The average amount of days it took to form a new habit was 66.
Steps You Need to Take to Form a New Habit
It’s pretty safe to say that it’s going to take every person a different amount of time to form a new habit. However, we can all go about forming habits the same way.
- Create your goals. (What habit you want to form.)
- Decide the frequency in which you need to practice your habit.
- Use a planner or app to track your progress every single day.
- If you fall of the bandwagon jump back on.
- Only focus on developing one new habit at a time!
- Replace bad habits with good ones. (Bad habit: biting your nails. Good habit: drinking a glass of water every time you get the urge to bite your nails.)
Creating a new habit is simply about repetitiveness. If you can make yourself do the same things over and over, day in and day out, you’ll eventually get to the point where your habits are automatic.
Habits That Will Help You Financially
Over the past couple of months I’ve developed a pretty bad habit. Out of busyness or laziness (whichever you prefer) I’ve been eating out like crazy. Now that birthdays and holidays have come to an end for a few months, I made no eating out my main goal in June.
I’m going to admit the first couple days were pretty rough – especially since my youngest daughter has been asking for pizza daily. (She just likes to give the pizza man money 😉 But now 11 days in I have no desire at all to eat out!
Eliminating my bad habit has helped me save money but I even took it a step further and challenged myself to cook from scratch rather than using frozen and other premade foods. By replacing my bad habit with a good one I stand to save at least a couple hundred dollars this month.
Here are some other ideas for developing good financial habits:
- Transferring money to savings each time you get paid. (Since this habit will only be performed every pay period it will probably take around six months or so to make this feel automatic. Stick with it!)
- Spending a half an hour per day working on a side hustle.
- Decreasing your daily spending allowance by a certain percentage.
- Investing a certain percentage of your money.
There are all kinds of financial habits that you can create. The awesome thing about habits is that once they are habits you don’t even notice them – it’s automatic. And you can continue layering your habits until you achieve the life you want.
If you stick with the habit forming process you can seriously accomplish anything!
How long does it typically take you to form a habit?