Habits are hard to form. There are many articles circulating around the internet touting that it takes anywhere from two weeks to 21 days, to years just to form a habit. These articles spout that with just enough perseverance and mental fortitude that the world can be claimed as your oyster. We’re not here to offer our own experiments or scientific trials, but we do think talking about the importance of routine and forming positive habits is beneficial to the way we do work…and play!
A Reading Habit TOTALLY Counts
Forming a habit, like a reading habit for example, can be an awesome way to add little moments of solace throughout your day. You may find that starting a journal practice becomes a form of hands-on meditation, or that learning to cook may be a new way you show yourself a little tender love and care.
Here is a round-up of some of the important facts we learned on our quest to better understand how one forms a habit.
Habit Forming in Practice
According to the European Journal of Social Psychology, scientist Philippa Lally set out to answer this question precisely. Over the course of 12 weeks and 96 participants, she and her team found that it took on average 66 days for the previously new habit each participant set about to form, to become automatic. 66 days was only the average! The study cited that because of the data they collected, they were also able to estimate projected timelines for the continued course of habit forming. How did this help? The data found that it would take some of the participants over 250 days! The moral of the story? Habits take a long time to form!
Knowing that it takes a long time to form a habit, we also wanted to know some easy ways to practice them. Thanks to this article, we found 18 useful tricks. Here is one of our favorites.
Know the Benefits. Familiarize yourself with the benefits of making a change. Get books that show the benefits of regular exercise. Notice any changes in energy levels after you take on a new diet. Imagine getting better grades after improving your study habits.
A Habit Worth Forming
We like the idea of shutting off technology an hour before bed to tuck into a good book. Reading is a habit that takes dedicated energy to form. We like looking at reading as a habit because it can prove to be really useful when trying to spend less time on your phone.
Forming a reading habit with your children is also really important to do when they’re young. We love THIS article talking about a few ways to cultivate a thriving reading habit with your kids. Our favorite tip from the article? Create a cozy reading space that entices children to stay and read! This is another useful article that talks about strategic ways you can read with your kids to develop a thriving reading habit. #RaiseAReader
Journaling is another great habit to form. Spending time with your thoughts can be beneficial when it comes to practicing introspection. Checking in with yourself can lower levels of stress simply by taking the time to remind yourself of how you’re feeling.
Learning to cook! The more you make a habit out of meal prep, following a recipe, or trying new things in the kitchen, the more confident you’ll feel making it a regular part of your repertoire. And a brilliant excuse to throw more dinner parties!
Keep Us In The Loop
What are some of the habits you’re looking to form this new year? Comment on our social media pages @westmarginpress so we can follow along! And don’t forget to give us a like and follow so you can stay up to date with everything that’s coming down the pipeline in 2020. We’ve got some exciting things brewing!