Lecture #15: 
Building lasting habits
by Darcy A. Santor

How long does it take to build a new and lasting habit? For a very long time, the widely held view was that a new habit can be formed in just 21 consecutive days of practice. Sounds simple enough. Work hard for three weeks and you are set.

As it turns out, the 21-habit rule is a myth, that can be traced back to the work of a surgeon, Dr. Maxwell Maltz, who, in 1960, was writing about how patients adapt to surgery. However, studies by researchers in the UK have shown that the 21-day habit-building rule is false.  In fact, research conducted in the UK has shown that building a new, lasting habit typically takes on average 66 days, and sometimes much, much more, depending on what habit you are trying to build.

In this lecture, you will learn about the science of habit formation, as well as about all of the strategies and tips that can help you build a lasting new habit that becomes part of your day-to-day lifestyle. You will learn about habit-stacking, dealing with slips and habit-drift. You will also be asked to identify a new behaviour or activity that you would like to turn into a new habit. It might be getting more exercise, improving what you eat, or a make a new study skill part of your day. Whatever, it is, we will get you started and show you how to keep going.

Resources:  Please complete the worksheet and surveys before the next lecture.

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