I recently posed a question on my Instagram story: How long does it actually take to solidify a gym habit? The options? A quick 21 days, a lengthy 4 to 7 months, or a precise 75 days.
The answer might surprise you: it's 4 to 7 months!
But then why are so many fitness challenges 21 days long?
The 21-day concept traces back to Dr. Maxwell Maltz's 1960 book, "Psycho-Cybernetics." As a plastic surgeon, he observed that patients took roughly 21 days to adjust to their new appearance. But let's be real, getting used to a new reflection and committing to a fitness routine are two very different challenges.
Diving Deeper: What Does the Research Say?
Katy Milkman, PhD, a renowned behavior change scientist, led a study to understand habit formation. The study focused on:
Gym Attendance: Collaborating with a major gym chain, they tracked 30,000 members' gym visits over four years.
Hand Washing: They monitored 3,000 healthcare workers, using badges to record hand-washing habits.
Thanks to machine learning, the team could sift through this data efficiently, identifying patterns and trends without bias.
Hand-washing: Became routine in just two weeks, emphasizing the importance of this health practice.
Gym-going: A surprising 4 to 7 months!
Here Are 4 Tips To Form Your Gym Habit:
Kickstart your week: Mondays & Tuesday set the tone.
Consistency > sporadic bursts
The more you skip, the harder the comeback.
Rewards can be a game-changer, especially when building momentum.
While smaller habits might form quickly, more significant commitments, like regular gym attendance, require time and persistence. So, the next time you consider a short-term fitness challenge, remember that lasting change takes patience and dedication. Keep at it, and the results will follow! Was this surprising? Let me know!