Building better habits – the foundation to better study practice
Habits are those automatic, small behaviours or processes that often occur with little thought or effort. Researchers at Duke University suggest that habits account for about 40 % of our behaviours on any given day. There is much conjecture around how long it takes for a habit to form, Dr Caroline Leaf (Cognitive Neuroscientists) suggests 21 days. At the same time, Dr Phillipa Lally and colleagues in a 2009 study found it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit. Lally et al. found on average, it takes 66 days for a new behaviour to become a habit.
While the time frame to developing a new habit is dynamic, the path to establishing one is much simpler. James Clear, in his book, Atomic Habits, outlines in plain English (not with heavily laden scientific jargon) the critical strategies to build better habits: