Maybe you’ve heard that to make a new habit stick, you’ve got to stick with it for 21 days. But if you’re on Day 20, you may have to keep going a bit longer.
Researchers found that the magic 21 number isn’t based on any scientific fact, because other factors are at play, like what the new habit is, and your own personality.
They compared two healthy activities of varying skills – regular handwashing and regularly going to the gym.
The handwashing group picked up the habit after a few weeks, but the gym group took six months before it became a habit. And those who hadn’t been to the gym in a long time took even longer.
The study found that the more challenging an activity, the more patience is required before it becomes a habit.
So, if you’re looking to stick with those new year’s resolutions, expect it to take longer than you initially thought.
Image Credit: syahrir maulana / iStock / Getty Images Plus