A habit is very difficult to form. It takes time, effort, dedication and practice. If it were easy to form, everyone would do it. Everyone wants to make good habits, whether it’s in business, in hobbies, or in your personal lives. That is why it helps to follow certain rules when you want to create a good habit and add it to your daily routine. One such rule is the 21/90 rule to build a habit and make it a part of your permanent lifestyle.
The 21/90 rule
The 21/90 rule states that it takes 21 days to make a habit and 90 days to make it a permanent lifestyle change. Commit to a personal or professional goal for 21 straight days. After three weeks, the pursuit of that goal should have become a habit. Once you’ve established that habit, you continue to do it for another ninety days. If you are able to follow this up for 3 weeks and then for 3 months, it should become a habit and then a permanent fixture in your lifestyle.
This rule can apply for any habit you want to build in your life. It could be driving a car, drinking a hot beverage, journaling or something as simple as exercising everyday. If you can create discipline and follow it everyday, the 21/90 rule is a great way to add something positive to your life.
How to apply the 21/90 rule successfully
- Set a goal
- Create a plan
- Build a habit
- Commit to it
Set a goal
Decide what you want to accomplish or change. This could be a personal or professional goal or habit. Write it down somewhere. Make sure it is specific, measurable and achievable. Find a date that you want to start working on it, which will mark the first of the 21 days of the 21/90 rule.
Create a plan
Create a viable plan that allows you to practice your habit everyday. A convenient time of day where you are feeling relaxed and comfortable is ideal. A back up timing also isn’t a bad idea, just in case things go wrong. Start making a note of how much you will do each day. For example, if your goal is to start exercising, you can start off by exercising for 15 minutes for the first 3 days and then make it 30 minutes for the remainder of the week. Having a clear plan and vision in mind will make it more actionable and help you make the most of the initial 21 days of the 21/90 rule.
Build a habit
Keep it focused and keep it simple. Focus on building one small habit at a time, the rest will follow. As you continue practicing everyday, you’ll find yourself wanting to do this activity everyday whenever it’s time. A sense of anticipation will build. Moreover, you’ll find yourself becoming more familiar with it and the habit formation will become easy. Once the 21st day arrives, you’ll have formed a habit and unlocked the first achievement of the 21/90 rule.
You need to stay committed to your goal if you want to transform the habit into a lifestyle. The 21/90 rule only works if you have consistency and dedication. Stick to the plan, keep it simple and stay committed. Always plan for last minute changes or contingencies. For example, if you need to take a day off from exercising as you worked late, that’s okay. Make sure you don’t miss two in a row, or it might be difficult to come back into the swing of things.
Building a habit with the 21/90 rule
Whenever you’re trying to build a habit, keep it simple and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Take it one day at a time and make sure it is something you look forward to and really enjoy. The 21/90 rule is effective if you’re committed and you will only be committed if you’re genuinely happy. Good habits are a great way to find some personal growth, add positivity to your day and take away negative stressors from your life!
Some simple positive habits which take 5-10 minutes a day, which you can use the 21/90 rule for include:
- Meditation and mindfulness
- Practicing gratitude and positive thinking
- Eating a fruit each day
- Exercising or light physical activity
- Journaling or recording your thoughts
There is a limitless number of possibilities for one goal. Make it an experience that gives you a break from your hectic life and also a feeling of happiness and recreation. Most things in life can wait 5 minutes everyday, don’t let your happiness be one of them.other things in life can wait for five minutes, so find some quick me time and make it count.
With over 300 articles published on Evolve. Jash is one of the most viewed writers on topics such as Sleep, Mindfulness and Stress. Drop a mail at Jash@evolveinc.in to connect with him.