How long does it take to change a habit?

Tessa Burns MartinAddiction, Tessa Burns

Habits are so pervasive in our lives. From our routines on how we brush our teeth in the morning to how we deal with stress, there isn’t a person out there that is not affected by habits. However, these habits can sometimes cause us a lot of pain. For example, for the person who comes home to have a drink every night to unwind, this habit may start to cause issues. It may cause even more problems when that drink ends up being an entire bottle of wine; or drinking until you pass out at night. Although when it comes to addiction, there are many other factors that need to be consider, it is still important to work on changing habits in order for long-lasting change to occur. So, if you have decided that you need to change a habit, the first question many people are curious about is “how long does it take to change a habit?” Whether you go on Google or you just ask around, you will probably get the consensus that it takes between 21-28 days. But, this doesn’t seem very realistic. For many habits, they have taken years to form and it is not just as simple as doing an alternative habit for less than a month and suddenly you are free. If this was truly the case, then I think it could be fair to say that addiction, obesity, and a whole array of other issues would cease to exist.

Unfortunately, there is no set prescription for time it takes to change a habit. It is completely individual. You have to consider several things:

How does the habit serve me?

When did the habit get set up?

Who would I be if the habit no longer existed?

You have to be ready to go through the reasons that the habit exists before you can ever consider eliminating a habit for good. And, you have to be ready to put some time in to change the habit. After all, you have devoted a lot of time to creating the first habit so are you dedicated to putting time and effort into creating the new habit? If you are, then send me an email and we can chat more.

Take care,


P.S.- If you feel like your drinking is more than just a bad habit, we can also talk about options to make things better.