21 AND 66

21 AND 66
By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

Where does the "21 day habit-breaking" theory come from and is it legitimate?
Hmmm ...
I did my homework.
Turns out the derivation of this theory hails from a Dr. Maltz, who was a cosmetic surgeon and author of a book in the 1960s entitled "Psycho-Cybernetics" which enlisted and recorded thoughts on behavioral changes in response to surgical procedure.
"When Dr. Maltz would perform an operation, like a nose job, for example, he found that it would take the patient about 21 days to get used to seeing their new face. Similarly, when a patient had an arm or a leg amputated, Maltz noticed that the patient would sense a phantom limb for about 21 days before adjusting to the new situation.
These experiences prompted Maltz to think about his own adjustment period to changes and new behaviors, and he noticed that it also took himself about 21 days to form a new habit. Maltz wrote about these experiences and said,
'These, and many other commonly observed phenomena tend to show that it requires a minimum of about 21 days for an old image to dissolve and new one to jell.'
In 1960, Maltz published this quote and other thoughts on behavioral change and the book  became a million dollar success."
Of like interest is this interesting research in 2009:
"Psychology researchers from University College London decided to test this theory. In 2009, the team examined 96 people and their habits for twelve weeks, with each participant choosing a new behavior to put into practice. Every day over the course of the study, the participants reported on whether or not they performed their new behavior and how automatic it felt. The study concluded that it took 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic which is far from the 21-day mark we've been led to believe.
The study revealed a couple things:
First, it generally takes over two months of daily repititions before a behavior becomes a habit. Second, while this research suggests skipping single days isn't detrimental in the long-term, what matters most is those early repetitions, since they give us the greatest boost in making a behavior an automatic response."
-Mental Help Resources
The second and more current study secures a sturdier fact platform in my mind, though it doesn't discount the suggestion that 21 days is certainly a positive beginning point in adopting and incorporating a healthy habit.
Generally, I think we attach ourselves readily to the 21 day idea because it looks so doable, attainable, and achievable. We like the lesser day, easier way theme over and above the longer day, more advanced and realistic sounding 66 day plan.
We are human and desirous of achieving favorable outcomes with the least amount of time and effort.
Hmmm ...
God's word differs dramatically from man's word in that it is not a self-help guide to facilitating and promoting healthier habits in man. Indeed, He has no interest in helping men adapt to 21/66 "plans" that mobilize him for a brighter, healthier, happier future.
He has bigger things at stake:
The souls of men.
God wrote His book to bridge us with the reality that we simply don't have what it takes to be anything apart from Him.
His goal is to secure each of us not with the notion, but with the reality, that we are lost, sinful, incapable beings unable to achieve anything of lasting value apart from Him.
God's book was published as a truth-telling story about our sin and a Truth-Sent Savior to rescue us from our sin through the blood of Jesus.
There's not a 21 or 66 day plan which bridges us to eternity;
There's only Jesus and a need to recognize our internal, unhealthy sinful condition.
Make sure that you delve deeper into heavenly matters than habit forming matters:
-One is eternal and the other is temporal.
-One is based on God and the other is based on self.
-One is based on the internal and the other is based on the external.
But only one is going to matter and materialize in the end ...
And that's the "Jesus" plan.
Insist in investing on something beyond the here and now;
Insist in making eternity your investment.
Habit forming matters will yield to heavenly matters;
Take care to begin there.
Begin in the book of John.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
John 3:16