Habit-forming

They say it takes three weeks to make a habit and three weeks to break a habit.

While I was doing my water striding this morning – at Habit – I thought about all my habits, good and bad. There are quite a number, including this new habit of blogging – I’ve been tapping on the keys in excess of three weeks. Am not yet sure whether it’s a good or a bad habit…

Anyway, my conclusion after swimming up and down for nearly an hour, is that I’m a creature of habit.

I get up at the same time every morning.

I follow exactly the same morning routine – no deviations allowed.

I have the same drink of hot lemon juice and water, and eat the same breakfast, and make the same sandwich with the same bread. I take the same variety of apple with me.

I leave at the same time, follow the same route, and try to park in the same park.

I walk the same route, have the same style of coffee in the same cafe, and arrive at work at much the same time.

And that’s only before 8.15 am. What about all this isn’t a habit! It’s so scarey…..

But is a routine a habit, or just a routine? Or are habits and routines one and the same?

At the pool I have my routine, swimming laps in groups of ten with much the same configuration…and again I like to use the same lockers if possible. Hey, there is a method in that bit of madness…I have to remember which locker my gear’s in, easier if I try to use the same one isn’t it? Many’s the time when I’ve watched  some poor lass standing in front of the lockers trying to remember which one she left her gear in! Shoes left on the floor are often a bit of a clue – not if you’ve put them in the locker though!

While most of these habits are hardly detrimental to the enjoyment of life, the one habit I’d love to nip in the bud – is the one of paying far far too much credence to the inner voice. You know, the one that prevents you from doing things you might really want to do. The one that tells you you’re too old, too short, too dumb, or it’s just too late…the voice that stops you from saying things you desperately want to say, from writing things you find difficult to put into words, or making decisions that have a bit of risk involved.

All the other habits can be expunged (at least in part) in the requisite three weeks – that one takes a lifetime.

The other bad habit (only one you say?) I’ve consciously tried to deal to, is that of interrupting people. I know I do this and I know it’s extremely bad manners. But you know, there are also some people who once they start talking don’t even stop to draw breath. They fail to realise that conversation is a two-way thing…and I just have to jump in and say something otherwise I’m at risk of falling asleep!

Please don’t let me fall asleep – because that’s another bad habit. At bedtime it’s fine, it’s a good habit, but at 7.00 pm or worse still, during a meeting…it is really not the done thing! I’ve slept through some of the best movies too, I’m told. Not sure how to break that habit so if anyone has any good ideas, I’d welcome them.

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