Updated: Sep 23, 2017
What areas would you like to change in your life? What habits would you like to shift?
A 2009 study by Phillippa Lally, a health psychology researcher at UCL, entitled ‘How long does it take to form a habit’, found that on average it takes 66 days for a habit to become ingrained.
Habits are behaviors which are performed automatically because they have been performed frequently in the past, the UCL study explains.
This repetition creates a mental association between the situation (cue) and action (behavior) which means that when the cue is encountered the behavior is performed automatically.
Making a habit is not easy – our brains are hardwired to take shortcuts and to do what comes naturally to us – so while you are telling yourself you want to create new habits, your brain is busy working out how it can revert to your old ways.
It’s important to remember why you made the decision to change the habit in the first place so that when, for example, your sub-conscious tells you to pour yourself a soda while you’re cooking dinner, you can pause, bypass the bottle and go for filtered water instead.