The fallacy of it takes x number of days to create a habit

The fallacy of it takes x number of days to create a habit

Do you believe the commonly held view that it takes 21 days to turn a behaviour into a habit?
Or maybe you’ve heard that it’s 32 days, or possibly even 66 days?
So what happens if you repeat a behaviour daily for 66 days and believe you’ve cracked it,
and then on day 67 you forget? Or on day 67 you’re not feeling that great and don’t do that behaviour?
What do you think might happen to your levels of motivation?
And if by chance you didn’t do it on day 68 either, because of time or some other factor,
is it possible motivation levels would fall even lower?
resulting in not doing it on day 69 either?

Yet if you put complete faith in the author of the book, article or blogpost, who assured you that 66 days was the magic number,
there’s a chance that in this scenario, you now feel either, that advice was rubbish,
or more often, the case for most people, is that they start trash-taking to themselves,
telling themselves what a failure they are, as everyone else was able to make it a habit in 66 days.

tiny habits book

In research by Stanford scientist BJ Fogg, author of the book, “Tiny Habits” he says:
“Habits can form very quickly, often in just a few days,
as long as people have a strong positive emotion connected to the behaviour.
In fact, some habits seem to get wired in immediately.”

His research discovered that it is not motivation that makes a behaviour into a habit,
as motivation is always temporary and it is unrealistic to expect your motivation to be high every day.
It is emotion that creates habits.
If you rely on motivation as in the aforementioned scenario, you run into trouble when motivation is low.
Once you are emotionally connected to the behaviour, it is much easier to become automatic and you do it without thinking.

In next weeks video on habits I’ll go more into the emotion aspect of habits and how that works,
and introduce you to BJ Foggs behaviour model known as B-MAP.

Tuesday: Habits
Your habits are what you do on a daily basis. If life isn’t going in the direction you want it may be a signal that you need to change some of your habits and routines in order to move in the direction you want it to go
Join my weekly free 5-day-programme to learn how to implement Tiny Habits into your life at

Upcoming events:
Free nutrition webinar at

5 week Habits & Health programme at

Take my quiz to unlock your personal key to healthier habits.
Find out if you are controlling your habits or your habits are controlling you—plus exactly what to do about it!

Blog posts weekly schedule:
Mondays: Movement
Tuesdays: Habits
Wednesdays: Nutrition
Thursdays: Breathing
Friday: Mindset
Saturdays: Sleep
Sundays: Personal Development

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