Bear with me – what I’m about to tell you could make the difference between meeting your fitness goals or getting lost along the way.
The funny thing about habits
If you’ve ever tried to adopt a new healthy habit (drink more water, eat more fruit, exercise in the morning, meditate…) chances are you’ve heard that it takes 21 days to make a new habit. Or repeating it 10 times. Or something along those lines.
The reality is very different.
Last week I was looking into the science behind what makes habits stick & I came across some interesting research from UCL, which found that ON AVERAGE it takes 66 DAYS for a new healthy behaviour to stick. 66 days. That’s two months. Of repeating the habit daily (that’s Jan 1st to March 6th for anyone attempting a New Year’s resolution).
And herein lie’s the problem.
Most of us give up on our habits way before two months, when we are still in what scientists call ‘the learning phase’. We expect a habit to stick sooner than it does (after 3 weeks), so when it doesn’t feel routine and our motivation slides we stop. When really we should hold out. That tough middle bit (around a month in) is the mountain we need to get over.
The good news
The good news? Habits get easier the more you repeat them – this is scientific fact.
So at first setting your alarm to get up early to train feels uncomfortable (this is normal) and takes planning (which is essential) but then it becomes a bit easier (routine) and then finally it feels weird when you’re not doing it… and that’s the sweet spot. That’s when your habit has turned into an automatic behaviour… and a long lasting part of your life.
So whatever your goal is… set your intention, plan (this is vital), and repeat. Daily. Often. For at least two months. And wait for the magic to happen.
Stay tuned for more science on the magic of habit formation…