I’ve heard it said that it takes 21 days to establish an unbreakable habit. I find this to be completely ridiculous. It seems like maintaining a habit gets hardest after that point, after 30 days, when you’ve had a long day and you’re exhausted and just don’t feel like it.
That little voice in your head says, “Ah, come on. You deserve a break, you’re doing great!” is when it’s most important to double down and get it done.
Lifestyle changes, at least significant ones, can take years to fully cement themselves into our daily lives. That shouldn’t discourage us from trying to establish habits, though.
In fact, I find it somewhat encouraging. When we start to think long-term, a slip-up over a single day seems to matter much less. When the timeline is stretched substantially, it becomes a matter of numbers and sheer consistency over time that really makes the difference.
So the question does come up, what are you willing to do for most of your life? If you want to be in good health, are you willing to eat vegetables and go on walks most days of your life until you physically can’t anymore?
No 30-day Beach Body/Insanity workout can accomplish that.
I do think it gets harder after 21, or even 30 days. I’m running into that right now, just like I did last year. I’ve successfully hit my targets and completed my daily tasks for almost the entire month and especially tonight, I’m exhausted.
It might be because we just got a puppy that requires a lot of time and attention, but man am I tired. At the same time, I’m grateful that I now have to take the small chunks of free time available to me much more seriously.
The point is, I’m willing to continue, to keep going and push through this dip to see where my daily habits take me. I know it’s what matters, and I know it’s what will get me where I want to be.