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Do you ever hear people talk specifically about achieving something or giving up something for 90 days? Ever wondered why 90? It’s a significant number in addiction recovery for example when people go for residential addiction treatment they are usually asked to commit to at least 30 days of treatment, and for more deep-rooted addictions, a treatment professional might prescribe long-term treatment which could last for 90 days up to a year. Pink even wrote a song about it on her latest album, but why 90 and what else can you achieve in 90 days?
Some people say that successful people plan their lives 90 days at a time because looking ninety days ahead, you have a good idea of what you can get done in that time frame. It means that you can estimate correctly, you are aware of what else might crop up and so you can make some very substantial progress towards a big goal.
Ninety days is an excellent timeline for planning. It’s long enough to be bold and ambitious and with your goals, and yet it’s still short enough to see the end of it and for it to be a manageable chunk of time.
As mentioned, it is an essential number in recovery as people say that the first 90 days of recovery are the most important for preventing relapse. Research published in the Psychology of Addictive Behaviors found that the risk for relapse was at the highest rate during the first three months. The study also found that a person in recovery who continues some form of treatment in these first three months had an increased chance of maintaining recovery for the first full year.
So, without really knowing why 90 or where it came from, it seems like it works, so what can you get done in 90 days?
Life changes a lot in a year and things that are relevant now may not be in 12 months, or 12 months seems so far away that you figure you can always start tomorrow. Ninety days, on the other hand, means you can see an end in sight. However, 90 days isn’t too short either but if you have lots of goals and you focus on one for every 90 days rather than trying to do them all at once, then you can achieve so much more in a year. It could be for the first 90 days you focus on getting fit, for the next 90 days you focus on saving money and then the next 90 days you focus on getting a new job? This allows you to think about all spheres of life.
So, while we’re still not sure why 90 days, it’s worth giving it a shot to see what you could achieve.