Habit formation is the process by which a behavior becomes habitual. (from Wikipedia)
So how long does it take to form a habit?
The number I'd always heard was 30 days. But this interesting article cites a study that it takes closer to 66 days to develop a habit. That's an average. Depending on what you are trying to change in your behavior, establishing a new habit took some participants up to 254 days. Drinking a daily glass of water was much easier to establish as a habit than doing 50 sit-ups before breakfast. I totally agree with that last statement. I've only done my crunches once in the past two weeks. Not much of a habit formed yet. But I've definitely got in the habit of getting on the stationary bike five days a week for an hour.
The new habit that I am working on forming is writing every day. That's every day, even if it's only 100 words. This past fall I got out of the habit of consistently writing and it's been an uphill battle to get back to it. I have a great external motivation this month to help me reestablish my daily writing habit. Grand Rapids Region Writers Group is holding their annual winter writing challenge this month. From February 12 to March 12, I will write 32K words. That's 8K a week for 4 weeks. If that doesn't get me back in the habit of daily writing, then nothing will.
At the end of the day yesterday, I had 2250. Not nearly close enough to the 8K that I need by Saturday to stay on track this week, but the good news is that I've been writing every day.
Stay tuned for updates on my progress.