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How Long Does It Take To Create A New Habit?

The first month of 2017 is coming to an end and a lot of new year resolutions have already been forgotten. Whether you want to focus on professional or personal improvement, the good news is that, it is never too late to make a fresh start.

It was once believed that changing a habit or adopting a new one could be done in 21 days, but a 2009 study by Phillipa Lally, health psychology researcher at UCL, says it takes an average of 66 days or longer.

Habits are behaviours performed automatically because they have been performed frequently in the past. This repetition creates a mental association between the situation (cue) and action (behaviour), the UCL study explains.

To create a new habit, a behaviour needs to be repeated in a consistent setting. To break a habit, the environment needs to be controlled in order to avoid the cue that triggers the habit. New habits do not stop old habits from existing; they just have to become stronger influences on behaviour.

Source: UCL News


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