How long exactly does it take to create a habit? Phillippa Lally (health psychology researcher at University College London) did a great study and she suggests two months or more.
Alongside her research team, Lally examined the habits of 96 people over a 12-week period. Each person chose one new habit for the 12 weeks and reported each day on whether or not they did the behaviour and how automatic the behaviour felt; activities included drinking a bottle of water with lunch every day and running 15 minutes before dinner.
At the end of the 12 weeks, the researchers analysed the data to determine how long it took each person to go from starting a new behaviour to automatically doing it and found that on average, it took more than 2 months before a new behaviour becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact (although the data ranged from 18 to 254 days).
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