Habit Creation + Great Expectations

Today, I want to talk to you about expectations. And habit creation.

I received an email this morning from a fellow, high-profile coach. And I couldn’t help but shake my head because she was talking about habit creation and how it takes 21 days to build a habit yadda yadda. And honestly, anyone to says that is immediately discredited for me, because they haven’t read the research on habit creation. And research (not anecdotal evidence) shows that it takes ON AVERAGE 66 days to build a habit – not 21.

So, who cares? Why is this important?

Because there are folks out there struggling to create good and positive habits that give up on themselves well before they should because 21 days later they are still struggling. And if they have high expectations for themselves, they may give up even sooner because they expect it should take them even less time, I’ll call them “Average-averse.”

The 21 Days Thing Is A Myth

But here’s the thing, most people are getting the whole 21 days thing WRONG in the first place. The 21 days idea was born of Dr. Maxwell Maltz, a plastic surgeon. And it had NOTHING to do with habits. He wrote a book called Psycho-Cybernetics (which is PRO-FOUND BTW and totally changed my mind on the power of thoughts and beliefs.) He noticed that it took his patients A MINIMUM of 21 days to see, realize, and accept their new, surgically-modified faces. And patients who had lost a limb would experience phantom limb sensations for about 21 days before adjusting.

Adjusting and accepting radical physical changes is not the same as habit creation.

Research on habit creation shows that it takes ON AVERAGE 66 days, but could take up to 254 days. And in the habit creation study, people chose their own habits – things they said they wanted to do or change.

Here’s why it matters.

Just imagine your level of success if you ignored the 21 day BS you’ve been getting and stuck with it for 67 days, or 254 days or even (heaven forbid LOL) longer than that and just stuck with it until it became a habit? Because regardless of how long it’s “supposed” to take, if you keep trying – it HAS to – it MUST.

So give yourself a break. It may take longer than you want. It may take longer than you’d like. But if you keep on it, in the end, you’ll still get it.

Image Credits:
     Free-Photos licensed under Pixabay License
     Wil Stewart licensed under Unsplash License
     Free-Photos licensed under Pixabay License
     Wil Stewart licensed under Unsplash License
     Wil Stewart licensed under Unsplash License

Christy R. Hall

Christy R. Hall is a Wellness Mindset Coach & Emotional Alchemist. She focuses on helping people change their lives from the inside out. She uses hypnosis, Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT), Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) to help her clients achieve real and lasting change. Christy says, “When you know how the mind works, it’s easy to make changes.” Christy fancies herself to be a Jedi Master, a verbal Ninja, and a Mindset Architect. In her free time, she spins yarn (both literally spinning fiber into yarn, as well as, writing), crochets for charity, watches silly cat videos, looks at pictures of Corgis, and plays massively multiplayer online games. Her current favorite is Elder Scrolls Online.