Not even a day after the retreat, I feel like 10 more demons are trying to find a place inside me. When ever you are institutionalized (by that I mean retreats as well), you think you have overcome your demons and have swept your house clean. But it has never worked for me…. I seem to do well for a while and then I fizzle out for no good reason.
The common notion is that you need 21 days of abstinence (or persistence) to break/create a habit, but apparently there is a great difference between forming a habit and automaticity (i.e. the notion of acting without thinking). Apparently automaticity is the central driver of habits. There is a curved relationship between habit and automaticity — meaning that the earlier repetitions were most beneficial for establishing a habit, and gains gradually dwindled over time.
It’s like trying to run up a hill that starts out steep and gradually levels off. At the start you’re making great progress upwards, but the closer you get to the peak, the smaller the gains in altitude with each step.
Research suggests that 21 days to form a habit is probably right, as long as all you want to do is drink a glass of water after breakfast. Anything harder is likely to take longer to become a really strong habit, and, in the case of some activities, much longer.
If anyone ever reads this piece, please make a short prayer for me. I really need all the help I can get
Partial sources : brainpickings.org