How Long Does It Take to Break a Habit?

21 Aug 2023

Breaking a habit is not easy. It takes time, effort, and consistency. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how long it takes to break a habit, as the amount of time will vary depending on the individual and the habit. However, there are some general guidelines that can help you determine how long it might take you to break your habit.

The 21-day rule

You may have heard the saying that it takes 21 days to break a habit. This is a myth that has been around for many years, but there is no scientific evidence to support it. In fact, research suggests that it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days to break a habit.

The 90-day rule

Another common misconception is that it takes 90 days to break a habit. This is also not true. However, 90 days is a more realistic timeframe for forming a new habit. Once you have successfully formed a new habit, it will take about 90 days for it to become automatic.

The factors that affect the time it takes to break a habit

The amount of time it takes to break a habit will vary depending on a number of factors, including:

  • The strength of the habit
  • The motivation to change
  • The availability of triggers
  • The presence of support
  • The individual's personality and coping mechanisms

How to break a habit

If you are determined to break a habit, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of success:

  1. Identify your triggers. What are the things that make you want to engage in the habit? Once you know your triggers, you can start to avoid them or develop strategies to cope with them.
  2. Set realistic goals. Don't try to change your habit overnight. Start by setting small, achievable goals, such as cutting back on the frequency or amount of the habit.
  3. Find a support system. Having people who are supportive of your goals can make a big difference. Find a friend, family member, therapist, or online support group to help you stay on track.
  4. Be patient. Breaking a habit takes time and effort. Don't get discouraged if you slip up. Just pick yourself up and keep going.


Breaking a habit is not easy, but it is possible. By understanding the factors that affect the time it takes to break a habit and by following the tips above, you can increase your chances of success.
Here are some additional tips for breaking a habit:

  • Reward yourself for your progress.
  • Don't beat yourself up if you slip up. Just get back on track.
  • Focus on the positive benefits of breaking the habit.
  • Be patient and persistent.

If you are struggling to break a habit on your own, consider seeking professional help. A therapist can help you identify the root of the problem and develop a personalized plan to break the habit.

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Have a goal of stopping a habit by reading this article
The 90 days rule is how I am still in crypto
This is an interesting informative article to help you quick a bad habit and pick up a good one
I'm trying to learn the habit of stopping all my bad habits
Habits, those automatic behaviors that we engage in without much conscious thought, can shape our lives in profound ways. Whether it's hitting the snooze button, biting nails, or mindlessly scrolling through social media, habits play a significant role in our daily routines. But what does it take to break a habit? Is there a magic number of days it requires? Let's dive into the science behind habit-breaking and understand the factors that influence how long it takes to bid farewell to those unwanted behaviors.You might have heard of the "21-day rule," the idea that it takes exactly 21 days to break a habit. However, research suggests that this timeline is not universally accurate. In a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, it was found that the time it takes to break a habit can vary widely, ranging from 18 to 254 days, with an average of about 66 days. The key takeaway is that there's no one-size-fits-all answer; the duration depends on several factors.