28 Days To Create A Habit
Does it really take 28 days to create a habit?
Well yes, and no. The 28 day rule states that it generally takes anywhere between 21 and 28 days to create a new habit. Meaning that the first 3 to 4 weeks of performing a new task is often the hardest. Only once you cross that 3 or 4 week period do things start to get easier as the task then becomes a habit.
As you might imagine, there is no exact science behind the rule.As in, it doesn’t always take exactly 28 days to create a habit, but the rule has held true over time.
What can you do, to help hit that 28 day period?
By hitting that 28 day goal, you’re well on your way to reaching your targets and you’d have crossed a massive milestone that most fail to reach.
Set some tangible goals to reach
Be very clear in highlighting a few goals that you want to achieve as a result of your actions. These need to be as specific as possible, in order to make reaching them much more likely.
Create a clear plan of action
Now that you have your goals, you can go about creating a plan that will help you to reach them. That way, you know exactly what lies ahead and what steps need to be taken in order to reach your eventual goals.
Self-help culture clings to the fiction of the 28-day rule, presumably, because it makes habit change sound plausibly difficult enough, but basically easy. The first problem with this is dispiritingly simple: changing habits is hard. We’re all “cognitive misers”, our brains designed to take short cuts, rendering as many behavior as possible automatic.
The subtler problem is that we tend to think about habit change wrongly.
We get trapped in a paradox: we want to say stop, but on the other hand, demonstrably, we also want to keep doing it – so what we really want, it seems, is to stop wanting.
We’re stuck deep in what the Greeks called “akrasia“: deciding on the best course of action, then doing something else.
The way around this, is to see that habits are responses to needs. This sounds obvious, but countless efforts at habit change ignore its implications. What’s required it’s in most cases an alternative way to feel comforted and relaxed.