Friday, January 04, 2013

21 days

I started researching this morning to find out how long it takes for something to become  habit.   I got some conflicting answers.  27 days, 30-40 repetitions.   The answers were anywhere between 1 month and 3 months.  Each source I checked then followed it up with the disclaimer that went something as follows. "you see, there is no exact answer because everyone is a unique individual..."  The most common consensus via research groups was that it takes 21 days to make something a habit. For the sake of argument, I'm going to say 21 days is the magical number.  21 days eh?   Well, I technically started back on my quest for health the day after Christmas.  But for the sake of ease in calucalting, (and because I didn't kick in full steam ahead until January 1) I'm going to use January 1 for my first day of my habit formulating behavior.  SO I'm 4 days in.  19% of the way there!    I am endeavoring to make tracking my food a habit (and a side note, when I'm tracking I tend to stay within my caloric budget...go figure).  I am also attempting to make exercise a habit in my life rather than something I do as a side note.  My plan for exercise is for most days to yes, do something significant.  But even on the days where I dont' want to, I'm making myself do SOMETHING active.  a 5 minute walk down the road.   A 15 minute ride on the exercise bike.  SOMETHING....ANYTHING!   Because it becomes a habit if you do it 21 times! 

The good thing about this habit thing?   After my 21 days are up, it's now a habit.  What's so good about that you ask?   In theory if it takes 21 days to create a habit, it should take 21 days to erase that new habit and replace it different habit. Therefore the habit I'm creating now will take time to be replaced by my bad decisions.  (in theory) Wow, that confused even me!