October 27, 2014

66 Days

How long do you think it takes to change or to form a habit? I have read many times that it takes 21 days.  Traditional wisdom seems to say that.  Isn’t that what you have probably heard too?

But I was proven wrong about it this week.

A speaker I heard recently (Jay Papasan) cited a study from an Australian University that says it takes 66 days to change or to form a new habit.

66 days!

This goes against all of my thinking that I have known on this subject for some time. This basically tells us that at day 21 we are only a third of the way of actually implementing something new to our way of living!  That it takes a full 66 days to make a change has started to cause me to rethink how easy (or actually how difficult?) it is to add a new habit.

The reason this is important for a Real Christian businessman to realize is because our habits are what actually define who we are, what we do, and where we are going.

Habits make up 90% of our success.

“People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures.” FM Alexander

By thinking about it the way FM Alexander thinks about it, our HABITS are what decide our future, not us!  For this reason alone, we need to take inventory of all of the habits that we are currently doing and decide if they are contributing to our overall well being or holding us back.

Does our morning ritual hinder or help us move forward in life?

Does that habit of interrupting people in the middle of speaking get you farther in your career?

Does the tendency to immediately blame your spouse for a situation that has happened at home interfere with your marriage?

I think you see where I am going with this.

I have started to take a personal inventory of all of my habits to see what I need to change and start changing them.

Sure, I could write a slew  of blog posts about how to change habits and why, but right now just think about some of the things that you do on a regular basis and see if modifying or changing JUST ONE OF THEM would take you in the direction that you want to go.

Just pick one.

And work on changing it.

Give yourself 66 days.

And see where you end up.

I bet you’ll be in a better place than you were before.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”  Romans 12:2 (ESV)

2 Comments on “66 Days

Dan Kopp
October 27, 2014 at 7:35 am

Great post Don! When I saw the title of your post I thought it would involve the number of shopping days until Christmas. 🙂 Loved the insight about how to form habits and how we give up too soon. I’d love to read that study that Jay cited.

October 27, 2014 at 9:19 am

Dan! I heard Jay speak on a recent EntreLeadership podcast (11.5.13). His latest book, The One Thing – shows “how to successfully work with fewer distractions and less on your plate.” I haven’t read it yet but it sounds great. He cites the study in either that book or The Power of Habit which he wrote before this one (I’m putting that one on my reading list now!).



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