21 days is the number that everyone talks about. This is based on research by an American surgeon, Dr Maxwell Maltz in the 1950’s. He showed that it takes a minimum of 21 days to implement a new habit.
However, subsequently, a health psychology researcher at University College London, Phillipa Lally ran a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology on habits.
Over a 12-week period, each person chose one new habit to implement for next 3 months and reported each day on 2 criteria:
- Whether they did the behaviour
- How automatic the behaviour felt.
These ranged in difficulty from drinking a bottle of water with lunch to exercise related habits like running for 15 minutes before dinner.
At the end of the 12 weeks, the researchers analyzed the data to determine how long it took each person to go from starting a new behaviour to automatically doing it.
They found, that in reality, on average, it is over 2 months before a new behaviour becomes automatic, 66 days.
Depending on the habit in question, the person and their circumstance this can differ anywhere between 18 and 254 days.
Why does this matter?
We appreciate that starting to read systematically with the Rise Collection is a new habit, and won’t necessarily come easy. Logging your spiritual progress daily, and committing it to paper will take time and effort. The reason we provide the Rise Planner in quarters is to allow the user to stick with it for 3 months at a time, short enough to seem achievable, but long enough that if committed to every day, this can become an automatic habit.