How Long Till It’s a Habit?

According to WELCOA, “Some experts say it takes about 21 days, and other research indicates that it takes closer to 70 days to develop a habit.” The exact number of days it takes to develop a habit does not matter because it varies from individual to individual.

Before you look at developing a habit, it is important to have a clear understanding of what a habit really is because some will consider “losing weight” a habit that they need to develop. The word, “habit” is defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary as a usual way of behaving: something a person does often in a regular or repeated way.  An example of a habit could be as simple as drinking a glass of water with every meal.

Below are some key factors you can follow to ensure that you are developing good habits:

  1. Be Specific
  2. If you are looking to develop healthy habits, you need to be specific. In addition to being specific in the healthy habits you are looking to adopt, you need to hold yourself accountable, so the adaptation of the healthy habit is natural.
  3. Repeat the behavior at the same time and place
  4. If you  drink a glass of water at every meal, make sure to drink a glass of water at the same time and place until it becomes automatic
  5. Identify your triggers

Hold yourself accountable and identify what cravings cause unhealthy habits, so you can eliminate them from your healthy lifestyle and thus stick to only healthy habits

Reference: WELCOA’S Spark 16 © 2014 Wellness Council of America (www.welcoa.org)Merriam Webster Dictionary (www.merriam-webster.com)

Author: Allison Wright, Corporate Communications Director

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