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Habit stripes act as a stimulus for habit formation, study says

Some say it takes 21 days to form a new habit. But what keeps you on track for those 21 days? When you perform an action repeatedly over an extended period of time, you build a habit sequence.

For example, you might decide to make a goal of reading for 30 minutes every day – a streak is when you commit to something and stick to it, making it a daily habit.

Like reading for 30 minutes every day, no matter how you feel, how busy you are, or where you are.

According to a Duolingo survey, 78% of the population has tried to pick up a new habit, whether it’s learning a new skill, cutting back on screen time, reading, or something else.

Nearly 82% of them also think that habit streaks serve as an incentive for habit formation.

Over 43% of respondents said they were trying to develop a habit of learning a new language, while 49% said they were trying to develop a habit of reading.

They all track their development through habit tracker apps, counting numbers or notes.

“As your streak grows to new heights, the novelty of extending your streak can begin to wear off. This is when we tap into ‘loss aversion’, an internal bias in your brain that causes you to be particularly averse to losing something , like a custom stripe.

“Even on your laziest days, you are reminded that you must complete a lesson so as not to lose your hard-earned progress.

Of course, losing your streak doesn’t mean you lose the knowledge you’ve gained along the way, but the magic of the streak is that the longer your streak grows, the more likely you are to continue it every day to protect that progress said Duolingo’s product team when they researched the habit formation behind their streaks feature.

According to the report, almost 60% of people could stop developing a habit if they break a series of progress, because it demotivates them.

Stripes can be a very effective motivator for language learners, according to the platform.

The probability of the app user coming back the next day is 2.4 times greater for those who get a streak of 7 than for those who don’t.

“We are intrigued by the power that habit streaks have for Indians in particular and how the psychology of streaks applies to habit formation.

“Creating a habit can help people stay committed to any personal goal that takes time and effort, such as learning a new language.

“With a consistent habit, no goal is unattainable. We look forward to further personalizing courses for Indian students and adding features that keep them motivated to stay focused on their goals as they increasingly use fun and effective virtual learning platforms,” said Karandeep Singh Kapany, Country Marketing Manager, Duolingo India.

Habit Stripes are a huge help in sticking to your goals because they encourage the formation of a new habit more like a marathon than a sprint.

Small, positive habits can make incredible, hard-to-imagine things happen, and habit streaks are the way to make such unimaginable things come to life.

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