I know you may have tried running before. You probably went running around the block a few times, and came back sweaty and tired, and realized this was hard work. You may have even worked up to running for a week or two, but the habit just did not ‘stick’. One of the problems is that you just did not give it enough time to sink in, and establish a habit. It took you an entire lifetime to establish your current patterns of exercise (or lack of exercise), and it is just gig to take a little patience to form a new habit.
How Long Does it Take to Form a Habit of Running?
There is some debate about how long it really takes to form a habit. I have always heard that it takes 30 days to form a habit, and some blogs that I was reading said that you just need 21 days to form a habit. so which one is right?
Well, obviously the time it takes to form a habit will depend on the person and will depend on the habit in question. A post over at PsyBlog on How Long to Form a Habit had some good points about this subject. The post, which references research published the European Journal of Social Psychology, points out that for simple habits such as drinking a glass of water each day, it will take much less time than habit such as running. However, they also note that on average, “a plateau in automaticity was reached after 66 days”. Meaning, on average it takes about 66 days to form a habit. The chart below shows a summary of the research, and how some habits are formed quicker than others.
Based on this information, I would say that the idea of 21 or 28, or 30 days to forming a habit are a bit premature for something like running. If you want to establish a habit of running, you are going to go ahead and make a commitment for 66 days, or about two months. I don’t think this is too much to ask, though. I mean I can do anything for 60 days, right? Just set your mind to try running for two months, and you will be well on your way to getting into the habit for good!