How long does it take to create a habit?

There’s a theory that it takes 21 days to create a habit. Who doesn’t like the idea that you can change your life in a few weeks? The idea that 3 weeks can change your habits is indeed a myth and a perfect example of the more people say something, especially influencers, the more that it is believed!

Let’s focus on the positive. I’m here to help. Everyone can create a good habit and change something in their lives for the better. This habit or change does not need to cost money but requires good time management. Everyone has the same 24 hours a day and they make a choice about how they use them. Naturally if you have caring commitments looking after others there are times in your life when it can be difficult to find personal time. Your time will return to you.

To be the best version of yourself, start by allowing yourself 10 minutes.  With this time, read your book, or do a gentle exercise or two, or sit and relax like you would do when on holidays. You might feel as though you are being unproductive but you’re not. You’re being mindful. You’re getting to know yourself a little better.  It’s no wonder we return from holidays feeling better. These 10 minute time outs need to be done regularly daily and consecutively for a few weeks before you start noticing the cumulative benefits. Potentially, this is where the ’21 day’ theory stems from. The benefits are found in continuing your good habit long after the first few weeks.

Some people call their quiet time meditation. Mediation is whatever you want it to be. The benefits come from taking time for yourself and being mindful in whatever it is that you’re doing. You don’t need a yoga mat or incense. You just need your quiet space. Your 10 minutes is about disconnecting from technology and daily stressors.

Perhaps your movement and strength is an aspect of what you want to change. Perhaps you’d like to reduce the negative effects of laptops, mobiles and driving on your body such as poor posture, back pain and repetitive strain injuries. A few easy exercises a day is a great place to start. This 10 minute video is a good place to start and can be carried out daily. After 21 days, if you don’t feel better all-round I’d be very surprised. Once the mind and body benefits are kicking in your new habit will be hard to give up!

I am not a life coach or yoga ‘guru’. As a physiotherapist I apply the clinical skills I have learned and continue to learn to a patient’s injury or dysfunctional tissue using the latest scientific research. Treatment plans help people create a new habit. The information I provide in the treatment plan is a catalyst for change. I often can’t do it for you, but I’ll help you to make lasting change for yourself.

Orla Crosse is a Chartered Physiotherapist and Yoga Instructor at Performance Yoga. For more information about Orla and her Sports Performance Yoga classes and workshops see If you have any medical concerns please see your GP or local Chartered Physiotherapist for advice.