One and a half years.
This is the number of weeks it takes to change your biochemistry and get your patterns down pat. I have taken this number and formed it over the years from experience, other’s data/input and the science of epigenetics. Some people may take a bit longer and some shorter, but I say with great confidence, if anyone does something for 75 weeks in a row, they can probably do it for 100 weeks and beyond.
75 weeks is the amount of time it takes to completely change your life forever.
Ray Dalio has stated it takes people about a year and a half to integrate into the meritocracy of Bridgewater. His data driven company offers real insight into how people can manage change and integrate into their life. 1.5 years a lot longer than most ‘habit’ experts say it takes to create a habit. Most people will agree with this number when they truly think about it.
Epigenetics research has consistently found it takes anywhere from 1-2 years to create lasting epigenetic changes in your genetic function. This means it takes constant effort for almost 2 years to turn on the good, healthy functioning genes and keep them on for a long time. The real life practical application of this is your diet plan. Think of it this way: if you change your diet from the SAD (Standard American Diet - the one killing you) to a Paleo type diet and maintain this for a full year and a half, how are you going to fair? Odds are you have changed completely. Your lifestyle is different and we know part of this is because the genetic function has changed too.
One newer example is the new trend of the the Carnivore Diet. I have a book by Sherry Rogers written in the 90s that talks about something very similar to this. It is nothing new. It seems from anecdotal evidence, 1-2 years of following this is long enough to get the changes you want, which would be another example consistent with this theory.
Working out and changing your body composition for long term success also follows this 75 weeks theory. If you workout consistently for 75 weeks, your body will be different. It will be altered and typically this is for the better.
Many lifestyles and different aspects of lifestyle all seem to follow this year and a half or more timeline for change. No habit can form in a few weeks. Habits needs to be ingrained into your system, your cells and ultimately your brain pathways. This takes a long time in the short term, and a minuscule amount of time in terms of your whole life span.
PLAN OF ACTION: The beginning of your 75 week journey
Begin with weekly and monthly goals. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. It was built in 75 weeks. Or, at least well on its way to being build in 75 weeks.
Start small, but stay aggressive. For example, start with the Gallon Challenge. 1 gallon of water a day for 7 days. Then make it 1 gallon a day for the next 7 days. Repeat for the next 73 weeks.
Remember, this is a long process in the short term. 75 weeks over the course of your full life is nothing, but in the next week or 2 it will be hard. Stay positive and if you mess up, start fresh tomorrow. I love Jocko Willink for inspiration. Get up at 5 AM and get moving. No excuses. If you make the decision to get out of bed you have won. Now go and crush the day!
Get a team. Find the people to keep you accountable. This typically entails paying money. Financial commitment will keep you focused. It will either be an investment that changes your life, or something you personally wasted by not putting in the effort. Either way you must feel it and be completely invested both with financial capital and your personal capital.
Balance the Willpower Equation. Check out my post on this and begin to balance. This goes with number 4 in that you will likely have to pony up some capital for fully balance the equation.