They say a meth habit can grab hold of a one-time user and not let go. That’s how strong that pull is. Cigarettes are another obvious trickster. We all know they’re gross, but for whatever reason, a teen picks one up, and soon they can’t stop.
My youngest teen asked me a while back, “How long does it take to form a habit?”
Various research on this points to an average of thirty days, but here’s the question that always knocks at my brain: “How long does it take to BREAK a habit I’m so sure is cemented in?”
The type of habits I’m talking about breaking here are the “good” habits I’ve put in place. For example, I’m a daily exerciser. Throw me into a situation (hmmm…the holiday season comes to mind) where I’m flying all day and can’t really work out and then find myself having this mental conversation the next day.
“It’s not going to kill you to miss a workout. You’re just being obsessive getting it in every day. You need to balance that out. Perhaps with fudge.”
And she’s off.
So while it may have taken me a solid year to etch my daily exercise plan into my way of being in the world, it takes me a day to fill in the marks with sugared epoxy. Damn.
That goes for blogging, too, by the way. I blog three times a week not because I think the world (and by world I mean my three readers) needs my gems of wisdom to live more fully, but to form habit…to keep the creative flow moving through me in this particular type of voice which feels more natural to me then the type a novel demands. I miss once and I think I’m on a week long vacation. This explains the hundreds of quarter-filled journals over the years.
All this to say, “Adios holiday season!” We welcome January’s sense of possibility and newness, the fertile soil in which to plant new habits that serve us best. We must be honest with ourselves about what serves us best, of course, but once we are able to brave that out, thirty days and some intention is all we need.
It’s nice to be back.
The world is our oyster (…and, at least in my case, not the chocolate-covered ones from Godiva.)
Happy, Healthy New Year to you. This is going to be the best year yet.