Friday March 29th marked the 100th day since I took control of my health and wellness. WOW…100 days! I’ve never in my life withstood a weight loss program for anywhere near 100 days. I’ve been that desperate yo-yo dieter whose commitment waivered constantly driven by an emotional roller coaster fueled by short-term successes and more frequent failures. It dawned on me this morning that after 100 days I’ve positively formed new long-term habits and broken the vicious cycle of many old and extremely harmful ones. By no means have I figured it all out and as such seek to learn as much as I can about myself, my condition, and viable solutions to overcome my obesity illness each and every day.
So let’s talk about habits. How long does it take to make or break them? Is there scientific evidence to support the time it takes? How do our minds respond to adopting new behaviors? According to a study performed by a group of psychology researchers from University College London, the average time for a new behavior to become automatic is approximately 66 days. Depending the behaviors, individuals, and their circumstances, the study concluded that participants took anywhere from 18 days to 254 days to form a new habit. There are also numerous empirical studies that suggest a minimum of 21 days.