How Long Does It Take to Make a Habit?

Welcome to the Journey of Building a Habit

Greetings, dear readers. Have you ever wondered how long it takes to make a habit? Whether it’s exercising daily, waking up early, or avoiding procrastination, building a habit is never easy. However, with the right mindset and approach, it is definitely possible to turn our desired behavior into second nature, leading to a better version of ourselves.

Steps on How Long Does It Take to Make a Habit

Step 1: Identify Your Goal

The first step in building a habit is to identify what exactly it is that you want to achieve. Ask yourself what behavior you want to turn into a habit and be specific about it. For instance, instead of setting a vague goal such as “exercising regularly,” make it measurable by setting specific days and times.

Step 2: Start Simple

When it comes to forming a new habit, it’s crucial to start small and gradually build up. Starting with massive, unrealistic changes can lead to frustration or burnout, ultimately making it challenging to continue. Thus, begin incorporating the habit into your daily routine slowly.

Step 3: Stay Consistent

Consistency is key to building a habit effectively. It takes time for new behaviors to become automatic, so make sure to keep up with your daily practice. Even if you don’t feel like doing it, try to stick to your plan, as the more you do it, the more effortless it will become.

Step 4: Track Your Progress

Tracking your progress is vital as it helps you see how far you have come and the changes you have made. You can use various tracking tools, such as habit tracking apps or journals, to monitor your habits’ development and motivate yourself to continue.

Step 5: Stay Accountable to Yourself

It’s easy to fall off track when you’re only accountable to yourself. That’s why it’s crucial to hold yourself accountable by creating a system of rewards and consequences that motivate you to stick to your habit-building plan.

Step 6: Avoid Temptations

Avoid or minimize any temptations that can hinder your habit-building progress. For instance, if you’re trying to eat healthily, avoid keeping junk food around you.

Step 7: Find a Support System

Having a support system can provide the motivation and encouragement you need to keep going. Connect with like-minded individuals who have gone through similar experiences or seek help from a professional.

Step 8: Stay Positive and Celebrate Small Wins

A positive mindset can go a long way in building a habit. Celebrate small wins and remind yourself of why you started the habit in the first place. Always focus on the progress you’ve made and never dwell on setbacks.

Step 9: Make It Enjoyable

Building a habit doesn’t have to be an unpleasant experience. Try to make your new habit enjoyable by incorporating things that you love doing, such as listening to music or watching your favorite show while exercising.

Step 10: Embrace Failure and Learn From It

Failure is a natural part of the habit-building process, and it’s essential to embrace it. Instead of giving up when you fail, learn from it and use it as an opportunity to grow and develop.

Step 11: Be Patient

Remember that building a habit takes time, so be patient with yourself. Don’t expect to see results overnight. Instead, focus on making small, consistent changes that will eventually lead to significant long-term results.

Step 12: Keep Building New Habits

Once you’ve successfully built a habit, don’t stop there. Use it as momentum to continue building new habits that will help you become the best version of yourself.

Explanation on How Long Does It Take to Make a Habit

Now that we’ve gone over the twelve steps on how to build a habit let’s dive into the explanation of how long does it take to make a habit. A common belief is that it takes 21 days to form a habit. However, research suggests that this is a myth and that the time it takes to build a habit depends on various factors such as complexity, individual differences, and behavior repetition.

According to a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, it takes around 66 days on average to form a new habit. The study involved participants who aimed to turn one specific behavior into a habit and tracked their progress for 12 weeks. The findings suggested that it took from 18 to 254 days for participants to build a habit, with an average of 66 days.

However, the length of time it takes to build a habit varies from person to person and behavior to behavior. Simpler habits, such as drinking water every morning, can take shorter, while complex habits, such as learning a new language, may take longer. To build a habit effectively, focus on consistency and making it a part of your daily routine.

Tips and Tricks on How Long Does It Take to Make a Habit

Tip 1: Create a Vision Board

Visualize yourself achieving your habits and stay motivated by creating a vision board to focus on your goals.

Tip 2: Make a Plan

Create a specific plan to help make building habits easier by making a routine timer for daily activities.

Tip 3: Practice Mindfulness

Be mindful of your emotions and environment as they can trigger negative habits, especially in times of stress.

Tip 4: Hold Yourself Accountable

Track your progress by holding yourself accountable and celebrating small wins.

Tip 5: Have Patience and Persistence

Building habits takes time, so be patient with yourself and don’t expect immediate results.

Tip 6: Start Small and Stay Consistent

Start small and slowly build up the habit, while staying consistent is key to building good habits.

Tip 7: Reward Yourself

Reward yourself by doing something enjoyable and creating a positive association with your new habit.

Tip 8: Find an Accountability Buddy

Find an accountability buddy or join support groups to keep you motivated and share your experiences with others.

Tip 9: Track Your Progress

Use a habit tracking app or journal to monitor your progress and stay motivated.

Tip 10: Get Professional Help

If you’re struggling to build a habit, consider seeking professional help from a coach or therapist to guide you through the process.

Advantages of Developing a Habit

Developing a habit is important for personal growth and progress. Here are some advantages of making a habit:

  1. Mindfulness: Habits help us cultivate mindfulness, making us more present and aware of our actions.
  2. Increased efficiency: With a habit, we don’t have to use as much energy or cognitive power to complete a task, ultimately increasing our efficiency.
  3. Greater success: Habits can lead to success in achieving goals and creating positive changes in our lives.
  4. Improved health: Cultivating healthy habits, such as daily exercise and healthy eating, can improve our physical and mental health.
  5. Better time management: By turning tasks into habits, we can better manage our time and avoid procrastination.
  6. Increased confidence: Achieving a goal through habit formation can boost our confidence and self-esteem.
  7. Stress reduction: Habits can help reduce stress and anxiety by providing a sense of routine and structure in daily life.
  8. Positive relationships: Cultivating positive habits can help us become better friends, partners, and colleagues.
  9. More creativity: With the mental space freed up by habit formation, we can devote more energy towards creative pursuits.
  10. Self-discipline: Developing a habit requires self-discipline, which can lead to increased willpower and better decision-making.

Disadvantages of Developing a Habit

While developing a habit is generally beneficial, there are a few potential disadvantages to be aware of:

  1. Difficulty breaking habits: Once a habit is formed, it can be difficult to break, even if it’s no longer serving a positive purpose in our lives.
  2. Plateauing: Habituation can lead to plateauing, where we stop seeing progress or improvement in our chosen activity.
  3. Limited flexibility: Rigid adherence to a habit can limit our ability to adapt to changing circumstances or opportunities.
  4. Over-reliance on habits: Over-reliance on habits can lead to complacency and a lack of creativity or innovation.
  5. Over-specialization: Habitual focus on a particular activity may lead to neglecting other important areas of life or missing out on opportunities to explore different interests.
  6. Resistance to change: The rigidity of habits can make it difficult to adapt to new situations and try new things.
  7. Waiting for automaticity: Developing a habit takes time and effort, and waiting for the habit to become automatic may delay progress in other areas of life.
  8. Possible negative habits: It’s important to be aware of the potential for negative habits to form, which can have adverse effects on our physical or mental health.
  9. Reduced mindfulness: Habituation can lead to mindlessness, where we engage in the habit without full attention or intention.
  10. Missing out on new experiences: Overemphasizing habit development can lead to missing out on new experiences or opportunities for personal growth.

Overall, developing a habit can have many advantages, from increased efficiency and success to improved health and relationships. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential disadvantages and remain flexible in our approach to habit formation.


1. How long does it take to make a habit?

It depends on the individual and the habit. Studies have suggested that it can take anywhere from 21 to 66 days to form a habit, with an average of 66 days being the most common answer.

2. Is it possible to form a habit faster?

Some habits may form faster than others, but it still requires consistent repetition and effort. It’s not a one-size-fits-all answer as every person has different habits and learning abilities.

3. What are the most effective ways to develop a new habit?

Starting with a small, achievable goal is a great way to begin. It helps to establish a routine and build momentum as you progress. Tracking progress and rewarding yourself for milestones is also a way to reinforce good habits.

4. How do I break a bad habit?

One way is to replace the bad habit with a healthier alternative, such as going for a walk instead of reaching for cigarettes. Another way is to identify any triggers that may lead to the bad habit and find ways to avoid or manage them.

5. Can habits be unlearned?

Yes, it is possible to unlearn a habit. It requires a similar approach to forming a new habit, by identifying the habit and its triggers, and finding ways to replace the habit with healthier alternatives.

6. What happens if I miss a day of my habit-forming routine?

Missing a day or two should not completely ruin your progress, but it’s important to get back on track as soon as possible. Consistency is key when forming a habit, but one or two missed days won’t necessarily undo all of your hard work.

7. Do habits become automatic over time?

Yes, as habits become more ingrained, they can become automatic and require less effort to maintain. However, it’s important to continue reinforcing good habits and being mindful of any potential triggers that may lead to bad habits.

8. Why is it difficult to form new habits?

Forming new habits requires consistent repetition and effort, which can be challenging for many people. It also requires breaking old habits, which can be difficult to do without the right mindset and support.

9. What are some common habits people try to develop?

Common habits include exercising regularly, eating healthier, drinking more water, quitting smoking, and practicing meditation or mindfulness.

10. Are some habits easier to form than others?

Yes, some habits may be easier to form due to personal interest or natural inclination. For example, someone who enjoys running may find it easier to form a habit of running regularly.

11. Can habits have a positive impact on mental health?

Yes, developing good habits can have a positive impact on mental health. Habits such as meditation and mindfulness have been shown to reduce stress levels and improve overall well-being.

12. How do I stay motivated when forming a new habit?

Setting achievable goals and tracking progress is a great way to stay motivated. It’s also important to find a support system and remind yourself of the benefits of forming a new habit.

13. Can forming good habits help with productivity?

Yes, forming good habits such as creating a daily routine and prioritizing tasks can help with productivity. Habits can eliminate the need for decision-making and allow for a more streamlined approach to work and tasks.

Building a habit is like building a house, it takes time and effort to construct a solid foundation. The length of time it takes to establish a habit can vary depending on the individual. Some may form a habit in a few days while others may take months or even years. The truth is, forming a habit is a journey, and the length of the road depends on the person and the habit they are trying to create.

Research shows that, on average, it takes 66 days to form a habit. However, it is important to remember that this is an average and not a rule. The length of time it takes to establish a habit can be influenced by factors such as motivation, discipline, and consistency.

When it comes to creating a new habit, the beginning stages can be the most challenging. This is because we are breaking away from our old routine and trying to establish a new one. It takes time to get into the rhythm of the new habit, and it’s important to be patient with ourselves during this transition.

One way to help establish a new habit is by setting small, achievable goals. This can help to build momentum and create a sense of accomplishment, which can be extremely motivating. It’s also important to track progress and celebrate small victories along the way.

Another crucial factor in establishing a habit is consistency. It’s essential to set aside time each day to work on the habit, even if it’s just a few minutes. By doing this, we are reinforcing the behavior and making it easier for it to become a natural part of our routine.

Conclusion: How Long Does It Take to Make A Habit

Forming a habit can be a challenging but rewarding journey. While it may take some time to establish a new habit, the length of time it takes can vary depending on the individual. Setting small, achievable goals, tracking progress, and being consistent are key factors in creating a habit. By taking it one day at a time and being patient with ourselves, we can build a strong foundation for lasting change.

Closing: How Long Does It Take to Make A Habit

As we conclude our discussion on how long it takes to make a habit, we must remember that the journey is unique for everyone. Some may form a habit quickly while others may take longer. However, the key is to remain consistent, set achievable goals, and celebrate small victories. By doing this, we can establish a habit that will benefit us in the long run. We hope this article has provided valuable insights and wish you the best of luck in building new habits!