FIT36 High Intensity Interval Training

FIT36® Fitness Blog Lowry

Sticking to a Fitness Routine: How Long Does It REALLY Take to Create a Habit?

Sticking to a Fitness Routine: How Long Does It REALLY Take to Create a Habit?


Look up ‘how long does it take to create a habit’ online and you’ll find a wealth of articles that tell you that you can do it in 21 days.




Changing your brand of toothpaste? Yes, you might get used to it in 21 days. Trying a new brand of coffee? Sure, 21 mornings might do it. Altering your lifestyle to make fitness, active living and healthy eating a part of it in 21 days? Probably not.


But here’s another interesting bit of research: 43% of what we do every day is because of a habit formed. So, it stands to reason that you can make a new fitness routine a habit!


Why do you need to form a fitness routine habit?


The goal with any real lifestyle shift is to get to a point where NOT doing something feels wrong, as if something is missing. When you get to a point in building a fitness routine that you actually enjoy, that you see results from, you will miss it on the days you don’t do it. The positive feedback loop that you get from the benefits of a good workout, including more energy and better sleep, encourages you to go back for more. As long as that loop continues, your workout habit is also building.


That’s what you want! You want to get to a point where going for a workout is second nature rather than even being a conscious decision. When you start getting addicted to those awesome exercise induced endorphins, you’re going to feel it when you miss a workout, and not in a good way!


What’s a more realistic timeline to create a new habit?


Some research says 66 days is the sweet spot for creating a new habit, whatever it is. Others say it can vary from two to eight months. Why? Because it really does depend on you: your personality and your life circumstances. Put another way, if you set a goal of four workouts a week on the very same week that you are going on vacation to Hawaii, you’re probably setting yourself up to fail.


Other research has shown that by focusing on an action and repeating it at the same time and place is the strongest foundation for a change that sticks. Kind of like going to workout every day at the same time. Getting to the point where you’re not even thinking about it also frees up mental space for other things, which your brain is always happy about. Do you see where we’re going here? Creating new habits takes time and willpower, but once you plateau, grabbing your bag and heading to the gym will be second nature.


What if I’m not in a positive loop with my workouts?


Change it up!


  • Work out with a friend or a group of friends in a format like at FIT36 , where you can get your motivation from an external source.
  • Break down your workouts into more manageable pieces. You might have set the bar too high and now you’re feeling like you can’t meet those expectations. So, manage them!
  • Book your workouts into your schedule the way you would a sales meeting: it’s non-negotiable. You’re going!


In the end, the habits you create that make your life better will be things you are grateful for later so work at it, stick with it, and come check out a FIT36 studio near you. Our trainers will help you rock your first class! Class trainers serve as coaches, teachers, and motivators to help you get the results you want!

Have a question?