Since no one is perfect and we all have flaws in our personalities. But, in order to become better, we must identify our bad habits and try to change them. They can be as small as not brushing your teeth at night or as big as backbiting. So, let’s learn how long does it take to change a habit?
What are the Types of Habit?
Habit is something that has become a part of your everyday routine because of repetition, and now you automatically do it without knowing. According to psychologists, habits can be divided into the following categories:
- Helpful and not helpful
- Useful and not useful
- Consistent and inconsistent with your goals and values
If you are having trouble letting go of an old habit you might find professional advice extremely helpful. Consult Online with the Best Psychologist in Pakistan now!
So, Long Does it Take to Change A Habit?
Research on habits conducted in 2009 reveals that it can take anywhere between 18 and 254 days to break a habit. This study had 96 participants who were told to improve one specific behavior. One subject established a new habit in just 18 days, whereas the other participants required more time.
While on the other hand, there is a popular theory about breaking habits in just 21 days. It was developed by a famous psychologist and plastic surgeon who experimented with plastic surgery patients and found that it took them three weeks to get used to their new face. However, this is a complete myth because many scientists have tested and proved it wrong.
In short, changing a habit is not an impossible task, and many people have had success, but there is no set time or days for it. Everyone has their own pace and approach, which can lead to a different result. However, with persistence and a strong aim, you can even change habits in less than 19 days.
What Are the Best Ways to Change A Habit?
If the habit is causing problems in your life, such as health issues, problems at work, problematic behavior, and relationships issues, you must change it. Some of the best ways to change a habit include:
1. Remove All Triggers
A trigger is anything that can cause you to go back to the habit again. For example, if smoking is the habit you want to get rid of, then do not hang out with people who smoke. It is important to identify these triggers by asking why or where it happens and what it makes you feel afterward.
2. Never Give Up
It’s normal to make mistakes. Rather than beating yourself up over it, remind yourself that you’re only human and that it’s perfectly normal. If you revert to your old habits, keep in mind that it may take more than one try to break them. Moreover, new behaviors need time and effort to become habitual. It might take many weeks to change a habit. If you persevere, you will be able to transform those new actions into habits as well. So, keep trying even if you fail.
3. Reward Yourself
Use incentives or prizes to motivate yourself to modify your habits. Consider establishing a goal for the week and rewarding yourself if you achieve it. Knowing there will be a future reward may drive you to persist with your strategy to stop that habit. The reward doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive, and it might be as simple as a relaxing pedicure or a favorite dish.
4. Ask For Help
Often, giving up old habits engraved in our routines becomes extremely difficult. People face withdrawal symptoms and even become depressed during the whole process. So, if the process of breaking habits is causing stress, you can always ask for help from family, friends, or a therapist, which is the best option.
Consult a Psychologist Now!
If you want to change a habit, the best person that can assist you in the process is a psychologist. They are trained professionals who can do behavioral therapy and recommend healthy alternatives for habits you want to give up.
Book an appointment now, to answer all your queries. You can book an appointment with the top psychologist in Lahore in Pakistan through Marham by calling at Marham helpline: 0311-1222398 or by online booking facility through the website or Marham mobile app.
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1. Is it true that it takes 21 days to break a habit?
According to a study, it might take anywhere from 18 to 254 days to break a habit.
2. How long does it take for a habit to settle in?
It can often take more than a month for a new habit to settle in.
3. Can you break a habit in 30 days?
Yes, but it can take longer according to your situation and circumstances.