Repeat the step and resist giving up
The climb to the summit may be long and arduous but the views from the top are magical and breath-taking and more importantly, they make the journey worthwhile.
So, you have identified something that you want to change to lead a better and healthy life. You are motivated to see this change happen and have taken up the challenge willingly as well as happily. You have modified your environment accordingly, to assist with your habit formation and you are following a routine to lead your brain to learn the habit. But, now the initial fire for change seems to be dousing and your motivation is dwindling. And you are now often wondering, when will this feel effortless? When the magic will happen? Am I missing something?
As we start to learn a new behavior it takes effort to do it and as we carry on repeating it, slowly the action feels more automatic until one day we forget to register to do it simply because now it has become a habit. But how long does it take? Do we have any answers about how long our brain takes to learn new behavior?
Yes, research has some answers for this. To form a habit of eating something healthy, it might take an average of 65 days, for healthy drinking-related habits, it might be 59 days on average, and for an exercise-related habit, it may take more than 91 repetitions, before we learn to do it as a habit. Simple behaviors take less than the more complex ones to form as habits. Also, stronger determination (called internal forces) and doing the task in exactly a similar way perhaps at a similar time and attached to an already well-formed habit (cues and context) can reduce the number of repetitions it takes to form the habit.