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There are many different theories on how long it will take to develop a habit. After studying this area for a long time, I’ve come across different numbers: 21 days, 30 days, 66 days, 90 days… and so on. It is also often said that you can only create one habit at a time, and it is not worth trying more at all. I personally agree with all of these numbers and actually all of the other numbers between them as well.
The development of habits depends on so many different factors that it is absolutely impossible to set any universal, always appropriate number of days. It depends on habit, person, situation, environment, knowledge, skills, experience etc etc etc. Thus, your new habit may develop in 21 or 90 days or not at all.
Habits are shaped by many different factors, and if you ignore them, the habit may not be created.
I like to challenge conventionality, do things in a new way and find new solutions. So I was very happy to find someone who claimed that in five days, three new habits could be created. Yes, you read it correctly. In FIVE days. THREE new habits. And it wasn’t someone random who claimed it, but it was Dr. BJ Fogg, a behavior scientist at Stanford University. BJ has been developing this method for years, and shared it with over 60 000 people all over the world. I was participating in his Tiny Habits® training in 2014 and I really created my first conscious habits in five days. I participated in his Tiny Habits® Certification Program and am now a Certified Tiny Habits® Coach who is teaching the method.
Can you create a habit in five days?? Yes you can!
But how can one develop a habit in five days if I just said it might take 21, 90 or as many days as it could? To do this, it is necessary to determine the factors influencing the development of the habit. It can happen only when your new habit, your environment, your behaviours and your mindset are firmly in place and meet certain conditions.
In a nutshell, the conditions that the habit has to meet:
- it should not take more than 30 seconds,
- you need to do this at least once a day,
- It has to be as easy as possible.
In addition, you need to associate this new habit with a specific activity that you already do on a daily basis, and then celebrate it. And that’s the whole story. By doing this on a daily basis, it is possible that within five days the habit will become automatic. Because the activity is simple and tiny, it is not difficult to tackle up to three habits at a time.
Start creating a habit with a behaviour that takes less than 30 seconds to do.
Certainly, now you have the question about 30 seconds, am I right? Most of the people do, when they hear about it. It seems that nothing could be done in this time… In fact it you can do a lot. There are these little habits that can make a huge difference in our lives and lead to major upheavals. SO what could you do with that time? For example, drinking a glass of water in the morning, putting one thing in its place, stretching your back, hugging your partner, resting your eyes… This little activity can also be the first step in building a bigger habit. For example, if you haven’t been physically active in years and decide to start exercising, running several kilometers at a time can be overwhelming. And when you become less motivated, you quit. But the first step in this activity is actually putting on your sneakers. Start by making this your habit. You even don’t have to do more. Put them on, celebrate and take them off. For sure at one moment you are ready and willing to step out of the door. You can grow this habit with tiny steps and finally be out walking and running.
Take some small action and make it a habit in five or a little more days, and if this action is already automatic, add the next 30 seconds of activity, and you can be sure that you are constantly developing without setbacks!
If this breezy tiny habits method started to interest you and you want to use it to change your life in tiny steps, join me in the free tiny habits online course: https://habitsmastery.com/free-tiny-habits-course
Certified Tiny Habits® Coach
Creator of Habits Mastery