3. Building Healthy Habits

Habits are a key component to influence our health, wellness, and overall quality of life. As the saying goes “we’re all creatures of habit”. We wake up around the same time, we brush our teeth every morning and every evening, and we eat meals around the same time every day. So, it begs the question, why can it be difficult to build new and healthy habits?

A habit can be defined as a recurring behavior that is triggered by a specific context and requires less conscious thought and repetition to make it happen.

How Long Does It Take to Build a New Habit?

 A study by a health psychology researcher at the University College London examined the habits of 82 people over a 12-week period. The findings reported on average it took more than two months for a new behavior to become automatic – 66 days to be more specific. However, the time frame can depend widely on the behavior, the person, and the situation. Interestingly, the results concluded the range for people to form a new habit was 18 days to 254 days.

If you would like to read the full article, click on the following link: How Habits are Formed

Tips for Building New Habits

As you begin to think about the new habits you would like to build, keep some of the following tips in mind:

  • Build on previous habits
  • Start small
  • Be consistent
  • Reward yourself

License

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Ch. 3 - Healthy Lifestyle by UGA PEDB Program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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