It takes 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic. And according to a study by health psychology researcher at University College in London, Phillippa Lally, it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 for a new habit to be formed, but this is all dependent on the person, their behavior, and circumstances.
The city I’m from ordered stay at home exactly a month ago, so I’ve been back home with my family away from my college town for what feels like forever. I’m not going to get into how COVID-19 has affected me and taken away opportunities and travel plans I had because it will seriously send me spiraling into a pit of despair and tears and that is not on today’s schedule. Instead, here’s how I think now is the perfect time to create healthy habits (because there isn’t else anything to do).
The “18 to 254” days part of the fact is not very reassuring or motivating, but the truth is that creating a habit, whatever it is, isn’t easy. However, I think we’ve been cut some slack because pre-COVID we were much busier people.
I know the first week or so of a new habit is the easiest because you’re feelin’ yourself, feeling motivated, but it gets harder as time goes now. However, now that we’re stuck at home, time management isn’t as much of an issue. Plus, I personally feel a lot more guilty about not doing anything physical after sitting around all day. Even if your healthy habit doesn’t have to do with working out, there is a good chance time management plays some sort of role in this habit or why you haven’t made it one yet. You can use this time to focus on it!
My hope is whenever this is all over (I pray it’s soon, stay home mofos!) working out has been made a habit or I can continue to work towards it making one. I know everyone is different and the ultimate test will be life after COVID-19, but it feels good to know I’ve taken this extra time to do some good for myself, and I encourage everyone to do the same. It makes all this uncertainty feel a little bit more bearable and makes me happy to know I’m working towards a goal I’ve always wanted to accomplish.
Hate you rona, you’re the worst xx