How Easy is it to Start a New Habit or Routine?
Some will say that making or breaking a habit is the easiest thing in the world, but for most people, making or breaking a practice can be challenging and time-consuming.
Allow us to drop a truth bomb on you: the amount of time it takes to form a habit depends entirely on the person and the task (we know, it’s not fair).
Overall, the whole topic of routines and habits can be kind of complicated. Hence why so many psychologists, researchers, and self-help writers have spent so much time on this topic.
One of the most common things we hear from our customers is that they struggle to remember to apply their Essential Serum and Enhancing Conditioner each day. So, we wanted to talk about how to create habits to help with this. Follow these steps, and your lashes will be looking great, and you’ll pick up some awesome life habits along the way!
Here’s the Super Quick Summary
Okay, blog skimmers, this one is for you. Here’s the official Babe Lash TL;DR (too long; didn’t read). We’ll give you the highlights, and if you like, you can check out the rest of the story.
- How Long Does it Take to Make a Habit?
- It depends. Anywhere between 18-254 days, but on average, 66 days!
- What is the Habit Cycle?
- Cue, Craving, Response, Reward - These are the innate steps to any habit
- Short-Term & Long-Term Rewards
- If you want to make a habit stick, there needs to be a tangible reward.
- Figure out how to make your rewards work for you.
- Habit Stacking
- Combine your new habit with a preexisting habit, like brushing your teeth or washing your face.
How Long Does it Take to Create a Habit?
In short - it depends.
The different activities and habits we try to make (or break) take different amounts of time.
Let’s use a few different examples here. Maybe your habit is to drink six cups of water a day - it may take a little bit of time for your body to adapt, but it’s pretty easy, so long as you have a water bottle with you. What about preparing to run a marathon? If you’re already in the habit of running, this won’t be that difficult, but if you typically don’t go running, this will be a much more challenging goal that will require additional preparation, and that’s okay. You can still do it!
But with something like putting on your Essential Serum every night, it may only take a couple of months to get into the swing of it!
Can You Form a Habit in 21 Days?
In the 1960s, plastic surgeon Dr. Maxwell Maltz published a book called Psycho-Cybernetics. In it, he explained his theory that it took 21 days for patients to become comfortable with their new image after undergoing plastic surgery. His quote in the book states, “it requires a minimum of about 21 days for an old mental image to dissolve and a new one to jell.”
After the book’s massive success, other writers of self-help books and magazines caught on and began to slowly warp the message to the idea that it took 21 days to form a new habit. Unfortunately, this statement was unfounded. Nevertheless, people went on with this claim for decades, despite its lack of formal research.
Around 40 years after Maltz’s claim was made, a new researcher decided to take this topic into her own hands. In 2009, a health psychology researcher at University College London, Phillippa Lally, created a study with 96 participants over 12 weeks. The goal was to determine the actual length of time needed to create a new habit.
And the results? On average, it takes over 66 days before a new behavior becomes automatic. Depending on the habit, person, and circumstance, it took participants anywhere from 18-254 days to create a new routine.
So, there’s some truth to the “21 days” claim since some people can achieve it within 18 days. But the reality is that it will take longer than that (on average, 66 days). And, as we mentioned earlier, depending on what your goal is, you may need to prepare for it to take longer.
Now, before you get discouraged by that considerable timeframe, we’re going to teach you how to hack the habit-creation process, so you don’t have to have a 200-day process!
The Habit Cycle
There are many elements to habit formation, including brain chemistry, psychology, past experiences, and more. Although many researchers have conflicting hypotheses about habits, most agree that there are four key phases:
- Cue - the action that initiates the reward cycle.
- Craving - the short-term reward.
- Response - the performed habit.
- Reward - the long-term result.
All habits are formed or broken through this process, and for the most part, this cycle occurs subconsciously. However, with the proper understanding of habits, you can make a conscious effort to streamline the process and make your habits stick a little faster.
Keep this in mind; we’re going to refer to it again later!
Short-Term VS Long-Term Rewards
Rewards are crucial to your habit-building success. There are short-term and long-term rewards, and each is equally important.
We’ll start with an example everyone is familiar with - exercise.
Short-Term Reward: After exercising, you get a rush of endorphins that boost your mood.
Long-Term Reward: Exercise is good for you. It can help you lose weight, build muscle, and improve your overall health. However, the long-term benefit can take longer to attain, so the short-term one helps keep you motivated as you get started.
Now, let’s use this concept regarding applying a cosmetic like Plumping Lip Jelly.
Short-Term Reward: After putting on the lip plumper, you get the short-term reward of plumped lips and beautiful lip color.
Long-Term Reward: Because the Plumping Lip Jelly has sodium hyaluronate, it gives a long-term reward of hydrated, moisturized lips, even after taking off the lip plumper, prolonging the aging process and helping your lips look and feel their best long-term!
Serum & Conditioner
Now, think of the Essential Serum and Enhancing Conditioner. You know that the long-term reward is having the appearance of longer and fuller lashes, and you also know that you need to be consistent to get that reward, but what helps motivate you in the meantime?
If there’s no immediate reward, you can make up something that is motivating to you. Sometimes you have to create an artificial reward for the short-term, so you can reach those far-reaching goals.
For example, the obvious long-term reward of using Babe Lash is having your lashes look longer and thicker. Maybe the short-term reward you have chosen is that you get to shop online for 20 minutes or eat a cupcake after applying your Babe Lash (we’re not judging - you do you!).
Okay, we know that was silly, but you get the point. Rewards look different for everyone. And we know that not all prizes feel rewarding in the same way. You need to find a short-term reward that works for you to reach that long-term benefit.
If you haven’t heard of habit stacking before, we’re about to change your life. This concept involves taking your regular, day-to-day routines and tying new tasks to those preexisting, subconscious ones. It sounds complicated, but in practice, it’s easy.
There are so many ingrained tasks we all follow. For example, you wake up and then go to the bathroom. At the end of the day, you brush your teeth before going to bed. You wash your face and take off your makeup in the same way, every day. And those are only a few common ones.
An Easy Way to Start Habit Stacking
The idea with habit stacking is that you take something like brushing your teeth and add a new task to that process, like putting on your lash Serum or Conditioner! Allow us to demonstrate!
Your Morning Routine:
Everyone’s morning routines are different, but typically it includes brushing your teeth, washing your face, and applying your Babe Lash Conditioner (the silver bottle), and then finishing your morning skincare routine before having breakfast.
Your Nighttime Routine:
At night, you’ll take the gold bottle of Essential Serum and do something similar.
And in September, you’ll add a new element to your nighttime Essential Serum routine when you try the new Brow Serum (we can’t wait to tell you more about it soon!).
Now, you may be wondering why we have been talking about brushing your teeth so much in this post. It goes back to the short-term reward we talked about above. Psychologically, your brain wants to see results, and since lash and Brow Serum results aren’t instantaneous, you’ll need to trick your brain into getting a reward.
Since childhood, you’ve brushed your teeth morning and night (or at least, we hope 😉), creating two instances of the same routine performed twice a day - at the exact times that you should apply Serum and Conditioner.
You effectively get to tie a benefit to something you already do, making it easier to incorporate daily.
Habits in Action
So, what does this all look like in a practical sense? How do we add Babe Lash treatments and cosmetics to our lives in a practical way? Allow us to revisit the Habit Cycle!
- You either wake up or are preparing to go to bed.
- If you have tied brushing your teeth to putting on Serum & Conditioner, you will begin craving fresh breath.
- You put on your Serum/Conditioner after brushing your teeth.
- Short-term reward: fresh breath and clean teeth
- Long-term reward: while you were taking care of your teeth, you were also taking care of your lashes, and now you get the results of the Serum & Conditioner.
Getting into the routine of putting on Babe Lash every day may not happen immediately - it’s going to take time. But by hacking the reward cycle and stacking your routines to something like brushing your teeth, you will soon find yourself getting into the habit of using your Babe Lash morning and night for lashes (and brows) that look and feel amazing.
Curious about learning more about habits? Here are a few we like:
- The Power of Habit - Charles Duhigg
- Atomic Habits - James Clear (he also has a great website with lots of cool resources)
Do you have any other favorite resources for habit-building? Tell us in the comments below!
If you have any feedback or questions please contact us directly at email@example.com