“They” say it takes 100 days to form a new habit. “They” say that it takes 10,000 hours to become good at something. Does it make you wonder who “they” are and how many hours they put in before they decreed this.
If one was to extrapolate (I’ve always wanted to use that word correctly in a sentence) on this then it would take only a mere 3 1/2 months to stop speeding, eat right, exercise daily or go to bed on time. I can tell you that it takes way less time to “fall off the habit wagon” than it does to climb onto it in the first place. Resuming the new habit after dropping it takes at least 3 1/2 months to convince yourself you can do this again and a lot more commitment the second time so you make it past the magic 100 day mark.
Further exploration would take us into the 10,000 hours which translates to 5 years at a full time rate. When you think about an Olympic athlete it takes most of them significantly longer than 5 years to reach the top of the podium. A young colleague of mine agreed that 5 years within a profession allows you the wisdom, judgment and experience to have developed a certain level of expertise. 10,000 hours requires a commitment to stay the course and not lose focus.
So how is it then that a new player on a soccer team can start and within three games look like a seasoned player? Why is it that some nurses after 30 years aren’t proficient in their chosen area of “expertise”? How about the newly chosen spokesperson for a group, at the microphone by default, but who ends up with a talent for public speaking.
How much is practise and mental retention versus natural talent? How much relates to your personality traits versus a routine that doesn’t vary? Natural inclination must play a role in the 100 days or the 10,000 hours otherwise you would walk away — “oh look at squirrel” — and forget to come back.
No fancy pictures, no haikus and no answers to the questions. It has renewed in me the motivation to hit the pool and ride that bike and lift some weights. Interesting to note that it was 104 days ago that I hurt my ankle so rehab has been a “forced” slow down and now I need to focus for the next 104 days to ramp up my cardio and make it a life time habit.
Looking for a good read about life time habits — check out “Younger Next Year” (for men or women — there are two different versions) by Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge. Even if you aren’t over 50 these are great life time habits. I’ll post about the impact of this book as soon as I get my butt in gear and quit eating crap.