How Long Does it Take to Form a New Habit?

Fifty-seven years ago, a plastic surgeon put forth an idea that’s become wedged in our culture. Dr. Maxwell Maltz, in the best-selling book Psycho-Cybernetics, was the first to suggest that it takes 21 days to form a new habit.

A recent study suggests it takes 66 days of doing something new to really internalize it as habit. Whether it’s 21, 66, or some other number, all of us at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists agree that it’s worth the effort to make a habit of caring for your feet, beginning right now. Each year on August 17, we celebrate “National I Love My Feet Day!” It’s a perfect time to sit back and think about these 3 easy habits we can adopt to care for our feet:

  1. Perform a monthly self-exam

Your primary care doctor’s no doubt recommended that you perform a breast or a testicular self-exam every month, right? It’s easy to tack on a quick foot self-exam, too, checking for the following.

Sensation: Do your feet hurt? If your rub or poke different sections of your foot, can you feel it?

Changes: Are there spots on your feet that weren’t there before? Have any moles or other lesions changed shape or color? Are your nails discolored? Do you have a wound that isn’t healing?

  1. Practice some pampering

Here are some practices you can pick up to show your feet some extra TLC every day:

Keep a pumice stone in the shower or bath to gently rub away the dead skin of corns and calluses. Very large and stubborn rough spots should be treated by podiatrists Chanda L. Day-Houts, DPM and Heidi M. Christie, DPM at our office in Montgomery, Alabama.

Moisturize your feet to keep skin smooth and hydrated.

Cut your toenails with care and precision, and straight across in order to avoid ingrown toenails.

  1. Exercise

Help keep your feet strong and limber by performing some simple foot and toe stretching exercises while you’re sitting in front of the TV or computer.

Starting today, make a habit of caring for your feet in these 3 special ways. Remember that lack of sensation, constant pain, or changes anywhere on your foot are reasons to contact us promptly by calling (334) 396-3668 or by making an appointment online.