I bet you have heard that it takes 21 days to start a habit. I have also heard it takes 66 days to start a habit. But I have also, from experience, learned that some habits take less time and others take more time. So what gives? How many days does it actually take to create a habit that sticks?
Well, listen up, ’cause habits are not created by a certain amount of days, they are created by – drum role please – discipline. Ongoing discipline is how something becomes a habit, not a period of time or an exact number of days. Hear me out, as this is fascinating stuff that will help you give every day!
You brush your teeth every day right? You might even brush your teeth two or three times a day. You eat or get out of bed, or get ready for bed and brushing your teeth is just part of that routine. You do it without really thinking about it. You would never want go to bed without brushing teeth, or get out of bed and go to school or work without brushing your teeth. It is a habit, and you do it every day.
Habits are formed first by discipline, which is why your parents asked you to brush your teeth every night and every morning. They reminded you to brush, brush, brush. They were the discipline for you at the age of two or three. Now you don’t even think about it, in fact you could not imagine living without brushing your teeth. The discipline your parents showed you, has now become your own discipline, brushing your teeth every day.
As we get older we need to create that discipline ourselves to form great habits. If we want to have good grades, we study every day. We discipline ourselves to make time to study so we are good at a school. If we want to do well at work, we discipline ourselves to first go to work and second to do well at work. If we want to be good at a sport, we discipline ourselves to practice. Sure a coach helps, but the discipline we show outside of practice increases our ability in the sport and make us better and better at the sport we are practicing.
When I started 365give it was our discipline mixed with a desire to change the world as a family that kept us giving for 365 days. It took a while to create the habit, a month or so, but eventually giving every day became and remains a habit for us. We don’t even think about it anymore. We have the daily habit of giving something small every day to the planet, animals or people. What is cool about a habit, and this could seem shocking, when the desire is not there, and there are days when changing the world is not the first on my list, the habit remains. When desire is low, discipline remains high in a habit. I love this! This is what makes giving every day so easy.
So this is all you need to do to make an action a habit, three easy things.
This feeds into our three easy steps for giving every day. It really is as easy as 1, 2, 3, and these tips help you to keep your daily giving a habit. Sure at first you need to dig deep into your motivation, which is why discipline is so important. Discipline remains once the motivation is gone, and the habit does remain a habit. With time, and only you will be able to determine how much time that will take, less motivation is needed, less discipline is needed, as you can not imagine living without this habit. Just like brushing your teeth, you will not feel the same unless you give every day. Just wait, it happens, and you will be amazed when that day comes. You will be giving every day, one day, one give at a time. Awesome sauce!
So do you want to start a new habit? Try giving every day to start and see how this recipe for creating a daily habit based on motivation and discipline really works! Get started by signing up for your free 365give membership so you have all the tools you need to start giving every day.