66-day rule: this is how you can establish new habits

As much as we differ from one another, we have one thing in common: As humans, we are absolute creatures of habit. How we get up, what we think, when we get hungry, what spoils our mood, how much we move, where we feel safe, on which side we fall asleep – with all this and hundreds of other little things that make up the majority of ours Determine life, we are tied to routines. Following thought and behavioral patterns is an unbeatable strategy for success. This is how we save a lot of energy, which we can invest in things like creativity, curiosity, adventure and experimentation.

The catch is: Although we know how important routines are for our lives, in most cases it is not easy for us to change habits and, for example, to establish new rituals in our everyday lives that improve our lives. The latter can make the 66-day rule a bit easier for us.

Background of the 66-day rule

The 66-day rule can be derived from a study by the British psychologist Phillippa Lally. With the help of around 100 subjects (average age 27), Lally wanted to find out how long it takes for behavior that we initially need willpower, discipline and overcoming to become an effortless routine. For this purpose, the test subjects should decide on one thing that they newly integrated into their everyday life: a 15-minute walk, a piece of fruit for lunch, 50 sit-ups every morning.

As the evaluation of the regular survey of the participants showed, it took an average of 66 days for them to do their job automatically. A one-day training break hardly had a delaying effect on the ritualization, but a multi-day one did.

This is how the 66-day rule works

So the 66-day rule says:

  • If you overcome yourself on one thing on 66 days, it will be easy for you on the 67th – because it has become a habit.

Admittedly, some may take a little longer, others may be faster, and it certainly depends on the habit we want to establish. But it doesn't really matter, because the crucialwhat the 66 day rule gives us is a very concrete idea of ​​what is to come and how much strength we need until we reach our goal.

If we really want something, we can hang a calendar on the wall, mark a period of 66 days on it and color in, tick off or mark a heart with every successful day. And as banal as that sounds: That makes a huge difference to our motivation!

Not knowing how far we have come on a path and how far we still have to go is like a block on the leg that costs us extra strength with every step. Not formulated metaphorically: With a very specific schedule, it is a lot easier for us to establish a new habit. In addition, there is less temptation to throw in the towel immediately in the event of a setback, because we can classify a day without a checkmark with 66 open and partially already used opportunities than in an unforeseeable period.

Are you curious? If you'd like to try the 66-day rule, you might be able to start with one of the habits that successful women typically have. We definitely wish you perseverance and good luck!