Into The Cosmos 🌌: Why building habits doesn't only take 30 days
P.S.A. We need space + room to mess up.
DD HQ here. Have you ever fell into the trap of thinking that you can build a new, long-term habit in less than 30 days? 🤯😅
For all our new friends, every-so-often we’ve been sharing a peek into the Daydreamers Experience with our Into the Cosmos 🌌 series. So, today’s newsletter will look different than normal, because we want to chat about the science of habit-building from a DD POV.
Before we dive in, think about the last time you tried to start a new habit. Let us guess - you started out strong, doing everything perfectly for the first week or two.
…but then, life got in the way.
Soon enough, you started to resent your new habit - something that was supposed to bring you peace, health and maybe even daily enjoyment became a guilt-ridden chore. From the moment you ‘messed up’ you avoided it completely.
We know the feeling. And, frankly, that’s why we’ve built the Daydreamers Journey in such an intentional, scientific-backed way.
The idea that you can achieve anything new if you stick with it for 21 days straight has been drummed into our social consciousness. Whether it’s drinking more water or exercising your way into a new body, modern marketing has tricked us into believing that we can ‘hack’ our way into a new life quickly and efficiently.
We hate to be the ones to break it to you, but not only is that unrealistic - it’s not backed by science.
The myth of 21-day habit-building
Let’s rewind to the 1950s when the original habit-hacking story began.
It all started with a plastic surgeon (we’re not joking). Maxwell Maltz noticed something interesting with his patients - after reconstructive surgery, it took them at least 21 days, on average, to begin adjusting to seeing their ‘new’ face. Cue a best-selling book and the game-of-telephone that began shifting the way we talk about habit-building.
Before we get into what it takes to build new habits as adults, let’s look at when long-term habits are formed in our brains. Around the age of nine, our brains solidify structure in our world. Everything from household chores to eating habits are so ingrained, they become unconscious.
In order to shift those unconscious, automatic ‘habits’ we must develop new neural pathways in our brain.
Luckily for us, modern neuroscience has shown that our brains are flexible for pretty much our entire lives, as long as we continue exercising them. This is the basis for ‘neuroplasticity’ - and creative thinking helps us strengthen that ability to create new connections.
But, even though connections are possible, unlike we’re told, they don’t happen overnight. Research actually shows that on average it takes about 2 months to develop a new habit (66 days to be exact!). Of course, this varies based on the complexity of the habit, your own unconscious biases, and even other environmental factors, like the strength of your support system.
So, there are three important takeaways that have helped us create the foundation for the Daydreamers Ecosystem: habit-building doesn’t happen overnight, we need room to ‘mess up’, and having support + guidance helps…a lot.
The Daydreamers approach to new habits
At DD, we live by this simple saying: “Give yourself some space around the edges.”
Our ethos and overall mission is to help us all unwind productivity culture, and in our POV - we don’t need to rush the development of long-term, sustainable habits.
Each part of the flow journey in Daydreamers is centered on not rushing. Your content unfolds in a slow and intentional way, helping you set micro-goals that amp up your dopamine and serotonin once you achieve them.
And, the journey is structured to last for at least one quarter, because we want to give you room to mess up. To work through your resistance. And most importantly, to have enough space to experience what a breakthrough feels like.
TLDR: we want you to access your resilient, creative brain and rewire the way you see the world for good.
Lastly, we know that habit-building is hard to do alone. So, we also pair you with a real human, a Daydreamers expert to process all that hard stuff: fear, ‘not having time,’ the guilt around ‘messing' up.’ Having support in building new habits actually makes them stick.
We’re not saying it’s going to be easy, but we know it works. We’ve seen this time + time again with our Early Access members. Most go from never having engaged in creativity consistently, to building a creative well-being habit that they engage in 2-4x a week.
And plus, this unconscious habit begins to seep into their lives. Our crew changes up their ‘normal’ walking route. They give themselves room to transition from work to home more regularly. They move across the country + change jobs + leave relationships + ultimately, expand their creative thinking habits into everything they do.
So, bottom line, no matter if you’re taking part in the Daydreamers journey or not: don’t let modern culture rush your process. Each and every step matters, and none of them need to be perfect in order to keep going.
Your creative brain is always looking for ways to imagine a new + better world.
Katina + Dupi
and the entire team @ DD HQ
Inside our brains @ DD HQ 🧠
A must read - this piece that captures the problem with efficiency culture. We love this view on why being weird is cool. Speaking of weird, it’s cool how this creator is figuring out how to push the bounds. This expansion of housing for all beings is a new way to see the world. Want a comprehensive breakdown on the science of habit-building? Here you go.
Ideas from the crew 🛸
This reflection from DD Early Access Member, Kierstan, makes our brains light up. We hope it sparks something for you, too:
”I found Daydreamers at the perfect time - I was in a period of overall “stuck-ness”. One of the most wonderful aspects is that it’s very flexible, and you’re supported from the very beginning so that you’re not stuck figuring out how to make another thing on your plate work for you, or beating yourself up for not “doing it right.” The beauty of it is that there’s no ‘right’ way – it’s helped me tease out my hidden ability to complete something without it having to be perfect or purposeful.”