Per the study outlined here, on average, it takes more than 2 months before a behavior becomes automatic – 66 days to be exact. However, habit formation can vary widely depending on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances. In the study, it took anywhere from 18 to 254 days for people to form a new habit.
I’ll use this to add my three favorite quotes on habit formation.
Consistency > Perfection
The consistent routine you stick with is better than the perfect routine you quit
“Unbend the hose”
Trying to pump up your motivation to stick with a hard habit is like trying to force water through a bent hose. You can do it, but it requires a lot of effort and increases the tension in your life. Meanwhile, making your habits simple and easy is like removing the bend in the hose. Rather than trying to overcome the friction in your life, you reduce it.
Systems & Training > Goals & Expectations
You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.
We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.