21-day rule

21-day rule

Do you have a habit you want to instil in your life and for it to form a part of your daily schedule? Or is there a habit that you want to rule out and stop completely? Have you heard about the 21-day rule; this rule dictates that if you practice a method of doing, saying, or being something for 21 days, it will grow into a habit.

Normal habits that you do include things like brushing teeth, listen to some music for some, watching an episode, working out, journaling and such.

When you follow through habits and practices in the pursuit of excellence, they breed success.

The habits of highly successful people allow them to consistently perform behaviours that breed success. Everything from eating well to responsible spending to task completion and beyond requires habits that make such behaviours part of our daily life. Michael Jordan spent his off seasons taking hundreds of jump shots a day. Cy Young award-winning Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay routinely does a 90-minute workout before practices. The young Venus and Serena Williams would wake up at 6:00 am to hit tennis balls before school. Highly successful people have learned to develop good habits, and it takes discipline, courage and hard work on a daily basis to keep those habits in place. It makes perfect sense to adopt habits that will facilitate success, yet, why are some so difficult to adopt? (FORBES)

During this COVID-19 period, it has not been easy to follow up on schedules and some things you were normally used to doing frequently. Therefore, progress might have been slowed or stopped. Question is, if you practised the 21-day rule, could it work? Are you willing to put in the work in order to improve or grow?

You may question the 21-day rule, does it really work? Or, is the 21-day rule just a myth? Well, history says that the 21-day rule is a misinterpretation of something plastic surgeon Maxwell Maltz wrote in his popular book about behaviour, Psycho-Cybernetics. When Maltz did an operation on a patient — whether it was a nose job or a leg amputation — he noticed it would take them 21 days to adjust to the change in their body. Based on that, he wrote in his book that “it requires a minimum of about 21 days for an old mental image to dissolve.” And, as this idea spread, people started dropping the “minimum of” part, writes James Clear, author of Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way To Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones. (TRENDS)

Now, in as much as the 21-day rule is seen as a myth to some and to others it is a method that works. My two cents is that, if you establish focus, have self-drive and are disciplined to follow through with an idea, you can ultimately follow it through to its completion. Whether it is 21 days, 90 days or a whole year, once you set your mind on really going for something, believe that you can and make a conscious decision to transform those small steps into big ones each day.