How Long Does It Take to Build Habits

At a glance

  • Habit Formation Timeline: Building new habits requires around 63 days of consistent practice, backed by neuroscience and psychology.
  • 63-Day Rule: The 63-day rule emphasises the crucial window for forming habits and how our brains adapt during this period.
  • Role of Consistency: Success in habit formation hinges on dedication, repetition, and understanding that lasting change takes time.

When it comes to self-improvement and personal development, building new habits is crucial. Habits shape our daily routines, productivity, and even our overall success. However, the question that often arises is: How long does it take to build habits? Is there a specific duration that one needs to follow in order to successfully integrate a new behaviour into their lifestyle? In this article, we will delve into the science behind habit formation and uncover the truth about the 63-day rule.

Understanding Habits: A Brief Overview

Before we dive into the time it takes to build habits, let’s clarify what habits actually are. Habits are automatic behaviours that we perform without conscious thought. They are routines that we’ve learned through repetition and practice, allowing our brains to conserve energy by executing these actions on autopilot. Habits can be as simple as brushing your teeth before bed or as complex as consistently hitting the gym every morning.

The Importance of Understanding Time Requirements

When embarking on the journey of habit formation, understanding the time commitment required is essential. Many people set unrealistic expectations, hoping to see significant changes in just a matter of days. However, research suggests that this might not be the case. Having a clear grasp of the time it takes to build habits can prevent frustration and disappointment along the way.

How Long Does It Really Take to Build habits?

While there’s no universal timeline that applies to all habits, studies indicate that it takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit. This number can vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the habit, individual differences, and the level of commitment. 

The idea behind the 66-day rule is intriguing. It takes 66 days to create new habits and long-term memories. This concept is rooted in neuroscience and psychology. During these 66 days, our brains undergo significant changes in neural pathways, making it easier for the habit to become ingrained in our daily lives. This information is not just arbitrary; it’s backed by research and aligns with the concept of consistent practice leading to mastery.

During these 66 days, consistency is key. Whether you’re trying to incorporate a new exercise routine, adopt a healthier diet, or establish a daily meditation practice, the key lies in repetition and dedication. Recognise that there might be challenging days, but the more you stick to the routine, the closer you get to solidifying the habit.

The Role of a Life Coach In Melbourne

If you’re looking for support and guidance on your journey to habit formation, a life coach can be an invaluable resource. For instance, if you’re in Melbourne, seek out a professional life coach who can provide personalised strategies and insights tailored to your unique situation. A life coach can help you set realistic goals, hold you accountable, and offer encouragement throughout the process.


In conclusion, building habits is a gradual process that requires commitment, patience, and a clear understanding of the time it takes to create lasting change. While the idea of a 21-day habit-forming period may be popular, it’s a bit too short to sustain. The 66-day rule sheds light on the science-backed timeline for habit integration. Whether you’re trying to enhance your productivity, lead a healthier lifestyle, or cultivate a positive mindset, remember that consistency over time is the key to success.