Tuesday, January 20, 2009

21 days to make a habit...

"According to scientific researchers, after performing a challenge every day for 21 days it becomes a part of a person's life. It makes it easier to set aside time and a person accrues motivation to want to perform the task without the feeling of forcing oneself."

This is part of a Wiki entry that I found very interesting. I’d always heard that you could build a habit over the course of days, and now I’ve found that to be true. Making time every day for writing, whether it is my regular blog, my creative writing prompts, or my novel, has become a priority for me. It’s a habit for me now. Sitting down every day and writing (usually on the computer…occasionally in long hand) is a creative exercise that I have the motivation to want to perform without feeling that I’m forcing myself. I have become the very definition- wow! Sometimes my stories and blogs are concise, detailed, interesting…other times, not so much.

Gosh, if only other things in my life were so easy to become habit-forming… you know, drinking lots of water, checking the mail, vacuuming on a regular basis, not being so sarcastic. ;) But I guess I’ve never committed 21 days to one of THESE habits.

There are many areas in people’s lives that could benefit from this 21 day philosophy. The whole ‘3 weeks is all it takes!’ mindset. Gyms should use it a ‘tagline’ to sell memberships. Heck, maybe they already do, and I just haven’t been paying attention.

And even though it wasn’t a 21 day challenge, I can’t help but be reminded of that church (I think it was in Dallas?) that challenged the married couples in the congregation to have sex every day for seven days. Seriously, people, it was on CNN a couple of months ago. (Actually CNN called it a ‘mega-church’…hmmm.) Can’t you just picture how that meeting of the church elders went?

Larry: Well, you know that statistic about 21 days, right?!
Will: C’mon, now, Larry, you know Mildred will never go for that!
Bob (hopefully): What about 14?
Jimmy: I think 7 is our best bet. And THAT may be pushing it.

21 days… 3 weeks… 3/4th of a month. I’m a believer.

And today is the perfect time to start a new habit. Maybe I should work on that whole sarcasm thing. Damn, I guess today’s out. Day #1 will have to start tomorrow. ;)


Rob said...

I should try 21 days without procrastinating. Starting tomorrow of course.

Tara said...

I test that theory every year at Lent. So far, I still drink too much caffeine but not much soda, and I only occasionally eat sweets and very seldom is it chocolate, so yeah, I'd say it works. This year I'm shaking it up a bit - I'm giving up my snooze button... I'll let you know if THAT habit sticks by the fourth week of Lent (or if it still just sucks)!

Staci said...

Oh jeez, Tara. Good luck with that one. I love my snooze button too much ;)

rusty said...

Ah yes, that was Ed Young Jr. at Fellowship Church instructing the congregation to have seven straight days of sex. He's a really good teacher, but pretty out there from time to time. I'm also fairly certain that he's a complete horn-dog, since he has at least one sex series every year or two. :-)

So if I smoke for 21 days straight, I won't be able to quit...?

Staci said...

My guess would be that 21 days of smoking would have the potential to be addictive! Stick with drinking. ;)

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