In what accidentally became a tradition, I will again set a goal for this week.

Learning a lesson, for once, I will work on just one thing: I will not snooze my alarms this week. It is, sadly, something I thought I’d already1 fixed. Most of the conventional internet wisdom on forming habits is that it takes only 21 days to form a habit. This is largely because the studies out there appear to bear this out, but this timeframe really only applies to easy habits. In reality, the time required to cement a new habit varies wildly based on the complexity of the task, degree of difficulty, internal motivation, etc.

For my part, I now consider a habit truly formed when it has been in place for 18 months.2 Which is an elaborate way of saying I can’t think of a new habit I’ve ever permanently set.

Back to not snoozing my alarm. I thought I had this one beat, but in hindsight, I was winning during an easier time. A time when I was temporarily living apart from my family, between sets of military orders. When things returned to normal, I went back to the habit of a lifetime by snoozing my alarm nearly every day.

Now, however, the goal is one simple thing for one single week. I can do that. I will never be perfect, but I will be a little better.

  1. Apparently this was also during my perscriptive phase. In one of my various reboots, I shifted to more of a team-like tone, since I must’ve finally noticed I don’t have everything figured out. We’re all in this together. ↩︎

  2. This is the worst-case extreme in the studies I’ve seen. ↩︎