How many times have you promised yourself you’d start going to the gym, eat healthier, or wake up earlier only to find yourself slipping back into your old ways within a week? We’ve all been there, caught in the cycle of making and breaking habits. But what if there was a foolproof way to break this cycle? A method backed by scientific research and real-life experiences.
Enter, the 66-day Challenge.
A study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology (1) provides some profound insights. This ground-breaking research led by health psychology researcher Phillippa Lally and her team at the University College London discovered that on average, it takes around 66 days for a habit to become automatic — to move from conscious effort to unconscious routine. (1) This directly contradicts the commonly held belief that it only takes 21 days to form a habit, a myth that has long been perpetuated without solid scientific backing.
What does this mean for you?
Essentially, the 66-day Challenge is a strategy that utilizes this finding. If you maintain a certain behavior for 66 consecutive days, it’s likely that it will become ingrained in your daily routine. This finding might seem intimidating, but consider it a liberation from the unrealistic pressure of the “21-day habit formation myth”. Let’s embrace a more pragmatic, realistic approach to personal growth and self-improvement.
One person who advocates for this approach is globally renowned leadership expert Robin Sharma. His 66-day system for habit formation has been instrumental in the success of many high-achievers. This practical method combines the science of habit formation with the real-world experiences of individuals committed to personal transformation. It’s about perseverance, consistency, and most importantly, being patient with ourselves.
However, the 66-day Challenge is not merely about duration. It’s about depth and intentionality, too. It’s crucial to select habits that are beneficial and align with your true desires.
Here is your personal habit formation challenge
Consider this your personal invitation to the 66-day Challenge. Take a moment to reflect on a habit you’d like to form — something that aligns with your goals and values. Once you’ve identified your habit, commit to practicing it for 66 days. Remember, perseverance is key. You might stumble, and that’s okay. It’s part of the process. The journey to self-improvement is not always a straight line, but it is always worth it.
Change your habits, change your life
In the grand scheme of things, 66 days is a blip. But the impact those days could have on your life is enormous. The 66-day Challenge gives you the opportunity to break free from self-limiting patterns and to establish powerful, life-affirming habits.
The challenge may seem daunting, but you’re not alone. Many have walked this path before you, and with the right guidance and tools, you, too, can successfully transform your habits. Remember, change starts with a single step. And that step could be the beginning of an extraordinary journey to your authentic self.
Embrace the challenge. Embrace the journey. Here’s to unlocking your potential, one habit at a time.
Lally, P., Van Jaarsveld, C. H. M., Potts, H. W. W., & Wardle, J. (2010). How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40(6), 998–1009. doi:10.1002/ejsp.674