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Sorta Random Sunday: It Takes 66 Days to Make a New Habit

This week’s Sorta Random Sunday post is about habits. It takes 66 days on average to make or form a new habit.

This is another factoid that I learned reading The One Thing by Gary Keller. I would say it’s one of the more impactful that I have read…certainly recently. Can’t recommend it enough to anyone who feels they are being pulled in too many different directions.

Anyway, research shows that it takes about 66 days on average to make a new habit.

sorta random Sunday make habit

This is a simple statement with very powerful repercussions

Our thoughts form our actions. Our actions for our results. But too often, we all, including me, get caught up in the transition from thought to action.

We start something that we really want to do.

Whatever it is. A diet. A new hobby. Exercise. Learning about personal finance. Even seemingly small things like stretching in the morning (I’m getting old, ok!) or making sure you take your vitamins.

We do it for a few days or even weeks. At first, we have the energy to do it. But then it kind of fades. We can’t quite figure out how to work it into our schedule. We aren’t very good at it. It doesn’t seem to be getting any easier. We don’t seem to be getting better at it.

So we stop.

Again, it takes on average 66 days to make a new habit

That means the the only difference between us and someone who actually does whatever it is that we are trying to do is 66 days (on average).

So, when you want to get better at something or pick up something new or anything else, it will seem hard and difficult to schedule and taxing and not natural for a long time…maybe even more than 2 months.

But then something magic happens. It becomes a habit. It gets engrained. And it doesn’t seem so hard anymore. In fact, it seems kind of easy and natural.

So set goals and create actions that facilitate the building of a habit to reach your goal. And then some

For example, when I started with a goal of getting my finances in order, I made a (sub) goal of learning as much as I could.

I said that I would read 1 blog post and 10 pages of a finance book each day.

At first, doing this didn’t seem quite natural in my daily flow. But I kept at it. And guess what? I still do it today! Why? It’s a habit!

What do you think? What has helped you make new habits? How long does it usually take you? Share some success stories in the comments below!

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    Jordan Frey MD, a plastic surgeon in Buffalo, NY, is one of the fastest-growing physician finance bloggers in the world. See how he went from financially clueless to increasing his net worth by $1M in 1 year and how you can do the same! Feel free to send Jordan a message at [email protected].

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