Forming Good Habits | Facts & Strategies

Posted by Elizabeth Dowell on Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Elizabeth Dowell

On average, it takes 66 days to form a habit. While the "21 day" habit formation myth sounds more appealing, you'll need to stick to your resolutions into March for lasting results. Research shows that New Year's resolutions to exercise more begin to waver during the third week of January. As we near the end of the month, don't give up! You are almost halfway there in making new healthy decisions, permanent habits.


 Vowing to workout more this year will be less effective than setting specific, measurable goals. Attainability is key. While you want to pick challenging new habits (working out 3 times a week), setting unrealistic goals (working out everyday) will make it easier to fail. Set SMART goals - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

Creating plans or routines specifying exactly when, where and how you will take action is one strategy for sticking to your workout resolution. “What we find is that it’s no longer you who controls the behavior,” Dr. Peter Gollwitzer, a psychology professor at New York University who studies how goals and plans affect behavior, says. “The situation triggers the action.”

Do you have a cup of coffee every morning? Put those tennis shoes on after that first cup and go to the gym or run outside! The habit of getting dressed for the gym will help train your mind that you plan to train your body too. "Showing up" is half of the battle! 
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