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How Long Does It Really Take To Change a Habit?

I had the pleasure of sitting down with 'Cookie' from to talk about all things habits and The Habit Revolution.

One of the hot topics was how long it really takes to create a new habit. Here a little snack of the chat and below is a summary of the juicy details:

The 21-Day Habit Formation Myth: Unraveling the Truth with Dr. Gina Cleo

It's a commonly held belief that it takes just 21 days to form a new habit. However, in our recent Cuppa with Dr. Gina Cleo, the acclaimed author and habit-change expert, this notion was thoroughly debunked. During her appearance on Open Book, which you can watch in full here, Dr. Cleo shared her extensive research and insights, challenging this widespread misconception.

Origins of the 21-Day Myth

The origin of the 21-day myth traces back to a study in the 1960s by a surgeon who observed his patients adjusting to new facial features. He noted that it took about three weeks for them to get accustomed to their new appearance, leading to the premature conclusion that habit formation takes a similar timeframe. This theory, however, lacks generalisability and fails to account for the complexities of human behavior and neuroplasticity.

Reality of Habit Formation

Dr. Gina Cleo emphasised that habit formation is far from a one-size-fits-all process. Her research shows that the time it takes to form a new habit can vary significantly, ranging from as little as three weeks to as long as a year. The average time for a new habit to take root is approximately 66 days, but this can vary widely depending on the individual and the complexity of the habit.

Implementing Sustainable Habits

Beyond just understanding the timeframe, Dr. Cleo's research highlights the importance of setting realistic and achievable goals. Focusing on 'micro habits', or smaller, manageable steps towards a larger goal, can significantly increase the likelihood of long-term success. This approach allows for gradual progress and helps prevent the feelings of overwhelm that can come with trying to make too many changes at once.

Invitation to Learn More

Dr. Gina Cleo's insights into habit formation are not only eye-opening but also immensely practical. For anyone looking to make lasting changes in their life, understanding the true nature of habit formation is crucial.

To dive deeper into this topic and explore more of Dr. Cleo's transformative approaches to habit change, don't miss the replay of her enlightening session on Open Book. Her expertise offers invaluable guidance for anyone looking to break free from old patterns and embark on a journey of personal growth and self-improvement.

👉 Watch the replay now here and start your journey towards effective and sustainable habit formation today!


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