Friday, January 14, 2011

1 Easy Step to Creating a Good Habit

Internet Lore says you need three weeks to break or create a habit. I daresay if I had searched for “four weeks break habit” I would have gotten as many hits.

I find myself staring at a three-foot by two-foot whiteboard that has hung unused for eleven months on my office wall.

I find myself thinking of several habits I would like to make or break.

I will mark off the white board in a three-week calendar with permanent marker, space for a start-date and a habit title.

Day one I’ll write the title “Climb stairs to 4th floor rather than take the elevator” and for three weeks, each day, I’ll mark in the day’s cell how many times I used the elevator, with a view to breaking that habit.

Weight Loss

OK, it can be argued that I shouldn’t climb stairs when I’m lugging fifteen pounds of groceries, but I was climbing stairs when I weighed fifteen pounds more than I do now, so what’s the difference?

It can be argued that I should be counting the number of (positive event) times I take the stairs rather than the number of (negative event) times I take the elevator, but many days I just don’t leave the apartment, so those days would show up empty were I recording “stairs” events.

No Whiteboard?

No problem. Make yourself a corkboard out of a sheet of cardboard; print off a three-week calendar ; pin a copy to your corkboard. In fact, keeping an archival record of your habits might be a Good Thing.

Does it work?

I’ll report back here in three week’s time!

(3 days later)

I decided to log bad habits (“E”levator) and good habits (“3” floors walked up). I noticed this morning that although I headed towards the elevator, my mind swerved me towards the stairs. 3 Days in and it has started to take effect.

(3 weeks later)

It works!

Now on to the next habit ….

Talk to Me !

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