The 21-day myth: Study looks at how long it actually takes to form a habit – CTV

April 18, 2023

How long does it actually take to form a lasting habit?

If your friend successfully cultivated an exercise routine within a couple of weeks and you’re still struggling to develop a consistent schedule for doing your laundry, there’s no need to feel like a failure — according to a new study, there’s no one timeline for forming a habit, and it varies widely depending on the task at hand.

Scientists at the California Institute of Technology studied two specific activities that can be habit forming in order to get a better idea of the mechanisms of training oneself to fall into that pattern.

They found that to form a gym habit took an average of about six months.

But on the other hand, it took health-care workers an average of just a few weeks to get in the habit of washing their hands as frequently as the job requires.

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