So how long does it take to form a habit… really?
Every time I hear that old “21 days” thing I cringe… it just doesn’t work that way.
In The 100 Day Promise: A Guide to Changing from the Inside Out, Sandi Amorim aggregates a wide array of research sources and concludes:
Research from the European Journal of Social Psychology suggests that although the average length of success in forming a habit is sixty-six days, it can vary from eighteen to two hundred and fifty-four days. But go online to your favourite bookstore’s self-help section and you’ll see how prevalent this concept still is. This twenty-one day myth has become a cliche’ that coaches and self-help professionals repeat too often and too lightly. It’s lazy and uninformed, and helps no one.
The challenge of 100 days is, as Sandi makes clear, about “how to keep a promise to ourselves like we keep a promise to a good friend.” … Imagine that. Not a sarcastic imagine that, like really take a moment to inhabit that concept. Imagine that you promise yourself daily ritual – self-care, compassionate self-talk, attention to your business (ahem), yoga, meditation – and you keep that promise the same way you’d keep a doctors appointment, your tone when you talk to others, or your weekly call to your mom.
As a result of Sandi’s book and program, I have gotten much better at keeping promises to myself. As for the blogging… I have imagined this 108 days of devotion many times. I have intended this over and over. When I made the first post last Wednesday, it was totally spontaneous – I was sick of planning and I just got over myself and posted my declaration. Now I inhabit Friday, May 18th in my mind: how it will feel to follow through, to click Publish on that day, to love myself through the ups and downs and keep this promise.
I’m not sure if Sandi’s ebook is still available, but she still runs the 100-Day Promise as an online program several times a year. Check her out on Facebook: facebook.com/sandi.amorim.coach/