on average 66 days …

66 days is the time it takes on average to change a habit.

Research on this subject was done in the year 2009 and before by DR PHILLIPPA LALLY, Research Associate in Health Psychology. She wrote a paper on it published it 16th July 2009 and then got her research ‘used’ by hundreds of blogs. Like this one.  Click on either the researcher, or the paper to be forwarded to the original pages:

Phillippa_Lally Paper

66 Days is a lot of time:  a little more than two months.

Mind you, this is all on average. The research found out that it took less time to get the habit of drinking a glass of water before breakfast (21 days), as it took to do 50 sit-ups before breakfast (110 days). And I quote from the abstract of the article: “The time it took participants to reach 95% of their asymptote of automaticity ranged from 18 to 254 days; indicating considerable variation in how long it takes people to reach their limit of automaticity and highlighting that it can take a very long time.”

Well, my previous article is partly about changing habits:

  • Changing the habit to plan every day in advance.
  • Changing the habit to regularly during the day, check the ‘ramsay-meter’.
  • Creating the habit to surrender, whenever that need arises (in my case during stress, and/or when ill)

It seems that it will take a lot of perseverance to get there.

10 thoughts on “on average 66 days …

  1. Thanks, Bert – a very interesting article! (Reminding me of that coffee reduction project!).

    I wonder if participating in research and ‘reporting’ your habits does probably help to ingrain habits into your brain – in the same way as people are (maybe successful) if they post their kilometers run per day to Facebook with an app? On the other hand relying on the external trigger could probably increase the chance you will drop your habit once you are not ‘monitored’ any more?
    Intriguing experiments – you cannot observe without impacting it, I guess.

  2. Kicked ciggies and stopped alcohol but don’t remember how long it took. Interesting post. Surrendering when ill– the hardest. Right now sick and expecting company for dinner. Can’t cancel. He is only here once every year or so. A Yogananda monk so maybe it will be okay.

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