Experts tell us that it takes more than 2 months before a new habit becomes automatic.
Sixty-six days is the length of time most experts say that it takes for an old “bad” habit to be replaced by a new “good/better” one.
But, how long does it take for a good habit to be replaced by a “not-so-good” pattern of behavior?
Say a person is in the habit of exercising daily. If they aren’t able to exercise for some reason for a few weeks, (perhaps for those same 66 days) does the good habit break?
I couldn’t find any research on this, but if we use common sense we may conclude that if people stop “practicing” good habits, they will fall by the wayside. Then, in the future, if a person decides they want to start exercising the good habit again, it will most likely need to be reformed. It might not take as long as it did, initially, to form it, or it just may– because more than likely, a “bad” habit has taken the “good” habit’s place…
So, here is my plug for writing every day:
Writing is a skill that requires practice.
Habits are formed by repetitive practice.
When practice is abandoned, habits break.
When one doesn’t write daily, the writing habit is broken.
When the writing habit is broken, skills just aren’t what they used to be.
And, those writers will find themselves in dire need of skill development in order to write as well as they did before—when they were writing on a daily basis.
It requires effort to form good habits.
And, those good habits can easily be broken by lack of consistent effort.
It’s as simple as that.