66 days…

habit picture

Dear DCSS Homeschool Families,

I just found out I have been DUPED!  For years, I have believed it takes 21 days to form a habit.  I don’t know exactly where I heard it first…maybe on a TV commercial, or I read it on the cover of a magazine in the check-out line.  However, according to the Health Behaviour Research Center, psychologists conducted a rigorous and valid study of habit formation in 2010 (http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/hbrc/2012/06/29/busting-the-21-days-habit-formation-myth/).  Their findings indicate that it is a myth for habits to form in 21 days, and that most people take around 66 days to form a habit!  For those of us who make resolutions at the New Year, we have to persevere with the new behavior until March 6th to establish a habit!

I don’t know about you, but for me I want to jump up and down with a renewed FREEDOM!  Now I know why I have struggled with success in some key areas…healthy eating, exercise, water consumption, and more.  I have not given myself enough time to establish changed behavior, and I end up quitting from discouragement before a true habit was formed.

If you started school on August 15th when Dayton Christian School System started, you should be about 49 days into the school year.  If you started school after Labor Day, you may only be about 35 days into school.  So in light of habit formation, I began to think about you with regard to your school days.  Perhaps some of you are feeling weary…you have been trying so hard to get yourself and your children on a schedule, but it still isn’t feeling automatic.  As the calendar is nearly turning to November, you think to yourself that you should be further along than you are, or perhaps your children should understand by now that when you give them an assignment, it means they are really supposed to do the work.  I mean, is it still necessary this far into the year to be laying down the “rules” for your homeschool?

According to the research, YES, YES, YES!!!  Do not get discouraged, and do not quit prematurely.  You may be just days away from breakthrough in establishing some habits in your homeschool schedule!  Our expectations are that we will see results, and in a culture where we can “have it your way, right away”, it is difficult to persevere.  2 Corinthians 4:16-18 reminds us, “Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

So whatever it is that is not yet feeling automatic, keep at it!  A positive habit is right around the corner!

 Tara Lee
DCSS Homeschool Principal

2 responses

  1. Great post – good habits require such a concentrated effort – bad ones seem to come so easily and naturally…. Oh yes… the sinful nature is the natural way. We need to tap into the supernatural way. I hope to hike the entire Appalachian Trail in the time it takes to develop two life-long habits.

    1. I can’t wait to learn the habits God will develop with you in 120 days! Amazing!

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