How Do We Form Habits And How Long Does It Take
A plastic surgeon named Maxwell Maltz started to notice a strange pattern among his patient in 1950.
What he noticed is this that whenever he performed a operation be that of the nose or of an arm, all of his patients took about 21 days to get used to and comfortable with their new appearance. His patients did not really feel comfortable right after the operation but as soon as 21 days would pass, his patients would feel just like normal.
As the Maltz noticed this pattern among his patients, he began to think about himself. He began to think how long did it take him to form new habits and be comfortable with them and he was surprised to discover that it took him the same number of days. 21 days to be exact. Maltz writes about his experiences saying, ” these, and many of the other commonly observed phenomena actually go on to show us that it needs a minimum of 21 days for an old habit for end and a new habit to be formed”
Now the good news is that it takes just 21 days to get rid of a habit forever.
How do we from habits?
When we repeat a behavior over and over again, it results into a neurological connection being formed in our brain. Now the more we repeat a behavior, the stronger that neurological connection becomes and after 21 days that neurological connection becomes strong enough to make that behavior a habit of ours.
So how can we get rid of a bad habit?
You will have to suppress the habit that you want to get rid of. You will have to find a positive replacement for that habit. For example if you are addicted to watching tv for 5 hours a day, you will have to stop watching tv and dedicate that time to reading books for 21 days. It comes down to having a strong will power. After 21 days you would not only get rid of that habit but also would have it replaced with a positive one.
OK I GOT IT. Now do i form a new habit?
That is really simple. You must have gotten the answer to this question by now. If you want to turn a behavior into a habit. Just repeat that behavior over and over again for a period of 21 days.
Your To Do List
Get a paper and write down all the bad habits that you want to get rid of.
On the other side of the paper, write down all the habits that you want to form.
Devise a plan to get rid of the old habits and form new ones and then get to work