A routine is very important for us to function. To create a routine, one needs to embed habits and swear by them. All of us have reasonable time expectations regarding every activity we undertake. You won’t stand in an ATM queue unless you know you’ll get your money within ten minutes. Developing habits is not very hard when we are younger. There is relatively less effort required. But as we grow older, we set a routine for ourselves and that is where building a habit plays a major role.
How long does it take to create a habit?
Well, the good news is, it doesn’t take too long. The bad news is, it almost definitely takes longer than some of you might have hoped!
What we fail to understand is that consistency is a must along with building habits. You might be reading this blog with a specific number in mind. One particular number entered popular culture several decades ago and refuses to fade from our collective memory. Everyone from parents and teachers to coaches and classmates have at one time or another quoted this number. According to this old adage, it takes 21 days to create a habit. Yes, that’s three weeks.
Noted plastic surgeon Dr. Maxwell Maltz, who in the 1950s observed that it took most of his patients about 21 days to get used to physical changes after facial surgery or an amputation. The book he wrote about this phenomenon became immensely popular, and for a good reason.
21 days is a catchy number. Short enough to prevent you from losing motivation, yet long enough to make you feel like you’ve achieved something concrete. Unfortunately, what Dr. Maltz originally wrote was that “it took a minimum of about 21 days.”
You may wonder, what happens after 21 days? Does your brain adapt to this habit? Partially yes, but it takes consistency. This also means that after 21 days if you fail to develop the habit, it does not mean that you will never be able to make it habitual.
Here are a few financial habits that you can develop to keep track of your finances:
Track your spending daily
If you feel like your money is vanishing into thin air, it’s probably because you are losing track of where you are spending. Make it a habit to either jot down your expenses as and when made or make a tracker and add your expenses to it at the end of every month.
Automate your savings
A well-known secret in the world of personal finance is to always pay yourself first. That is, as soon as you’re paid, you put money into savings to fund your future goals.
Read blogs and articles
Exercising your mind is as important as working out to have a fit body and staying healthy. One way to put your mind to work is by learning new things. You can get into the habit of learning something new every week. Indulge in reading essentials books, blogs and articles that educate you about the world, be it finances or lifestyle.
Having said that, enjoy the process of building a habit without putting any pressure on yourself. Let us know about what habit you developed and how long it took you to build it!