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5. Making habits, breaking habits

With the New Year just started, and too many resolutions already history, have you heard how long it takes to form a new habit, and why it takes that long? Jeremy Dean did some research that went a little deeper than a Google search, to find some reliable answers to the question. His results are in a book: Making Habits, Breaking Habits, (Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2013) and the results differ from the commonly accepted “21 days to establish a brand new habit.” The study carried out at University College London indicates that “on average, across the participants who provided enough data, it took 66 days until a habit was formed.  As you might imagine, there was considerable variation in how long habits took to form depending on what people tried to do. People who resolved to drink a glass of water after breakfast were up to maximum automaticity after about 20 days, while those trying to eat a piece of fruit with lunch took at least twice as long to turn it into a habit.” To find out why, and what you can do to help make that resolution stick, check out the book; in paperback, hardcover, Kindle or Audiobook.

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