How Often Can You Re-Invent Yourself? 30 Times!

Action Figure. This image is CC0!

In his blog zenhabits, Leo Babauta mentions that it takes about 30 days to change a habit. That means you can only change one habit a month. That sounds depressingly little.

Have a look at the following calculation.

  • You can change 12 habits a year.
  • Assuming you are 35 of age and have a life expectancy of further 40 years, you can change 480 habits.
  • Even if you are 55 of age and only have 20 years left, that is still the enormous amount of 240 habits you can change.
  • Furthermore, each of us lives at least three lives somehow in parallel: family and friends, job, and (solitary) hobbies. Because these lives are mostly separated, you can double or even triple your estimation.

If you do not have any hobbies right now I suggest you start one. It will increase your improvement potential by 50%.

Furthermore, you can still double your improvement potential by pairing every bad habit reduction with a good habit and vice versa.

So we are at roughly 1400 to 3000 changes until the end of your life, depending on your age.

Compare these numbers with the size of the habit list you created earlier. If you have been really busy with your list, you may have collected 30 to 40 habits. Compare it with the estimation we made. It takes less than a 3 percent of your remaining life expectancy to do a complete change.

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