How many days does it take to form a new habit?

A new habit can take shape 60 seconds and last a lifetime—or it can take years to form and disappear overnight.  There’s no one right answer, but according to the extensive research of psychologist John Norcross, new, healthy behaviors generally take about 90 days to become a habit. A new habit has to override old habits, and if the old ones are pleasurable, addictive, or formed out of fear or trauma, it will take longer to weaken the neural circuits that control them as you repeatedly habituate yourself to automatically using a more positive strategy.  

The more “important” it is for your survival, the faster you’ll form a new habit, and business habits are easier to change than personal ones.  Good work-related habits bring in the money that you can use to create health, security, and happiness in your life.  To form a new habit, you need to practice, rehearse, and repeat that behavior many times. Keep repeating the behavior or attitude around different people, and in different situations, to keep your brain interested and motivated. Take daily action, distract from temptations, and persist until the behavior begins to feel natural.  Keep reminding yourself of the benefits the new habit will bring!

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4 Comments

  • Avatar
    Lona Rios

    Thank you, and thanks for the varied examples portrayed here also! (helps) -and sounds like cutting-edge info. too!!

  • Avatar
    MARVY Mangogna

    I used to believe that it would take 21 days of habitual practice to change a habit but, from personal experience, I know that it takes longer. It is supremely important for me to develop good work-related habits as soon as possible because I am 71 years-old. Therefore, I have embarked on an intensive self-promoted campaign to demolish the old paradigms, and replace them with positive, empowering thoughts and beliefs in order to accomplish my goals. I am reading and listening to the work of those who made it to the top, in spite of their poor upbringing and failures. I must join this group of entrepreneurs and be able to empower many to do the same.

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    Denita Gadson

    Marvy Mangogna your words inspire me. I am striving to overcome and undo obviously bad habits and past circumstances that have attacked my confidence and self-esteem. I want to rise so that I may help others do the same.

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    Rajan Cherian

    Hi, Thanks for the info. I too was under the impression that it takes just 21 days to become a habit.

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