Health Life + Arts

Spring Break a better marker for established habits

Forming habits can seem very difficult– the ones you already have are already second-nature, and the ones you’re trying to develop take a lot of effort.

Whether you are trying to reinforce study habits, healthy eating or daily exercise, it might take you longer than just the month of January to solidify a new habit. A 2009 study featured by New York Magazine’s The Science of Us reports an average of 66 days to form a new habit. You might have to keep those personal reminders and daily alarms around through Spring Break if you want your tougher resolutions to take hold.

Since habit forming is different for everyone, the time it takes to make it automatic, which the report ballparks between 18 and 254 days, depends on the desired habit.

For example, making reading a part of your routine takes less time to become a habit than regular exercise does.

Perseverance and self-control are keys to forming a habit. However, there’s no need to fear the effects of missing a day, which, according to the report , “(does) not materially affect the habit formation process.”

Take advantage of the free time leading up to the spring semester to start working on a helpful habit. As an extra challenge, try fitting it into your spring schedule, though your course load and stress factors may affect the time allotted for your new habit.

Keep your goal in mind, take your time and make sure the habit will serve you well.

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