Day 28 – Addictive Habits

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What habits do you have?  Those habits that occur without you really even being consciously aware of…those are the habits I’m referring to.  Those habits that just happen on a regular basis without a second thought…or even sometimes without the first conscious thought.  You know the ones I’m talking about, right?

I’m not talking about brushing your teeth, or taking a shower, or letting your dog out to pee.  No, really think about those habits that you are used to doing, because you like them or at least you used to.  I put out a FaceBook blast to see what some of my virtual friends habits were.  I got some great responses!  These are the habits I’m talking about:

  • I’m talking about the daily coffee in the morning.
  • Or the additional [insert coffee shop] [favorite coffee drink] on the way to work.
  • The [insert favorite] drink after work, before bed.
  • The bowl of ice cream after dinner (or favorite sweet).
  • That alotted daily Pepsi.
  • Taking one more look at your phone, for the 200 millionth time in 30 seconds.
  • Checking the mailbox even though you know there’s no mail.
  • Check the weather app every morning before even getting out of bed.
  • That list…all of those post-its….it just keeps growing.
  • Kissing your significant other before you get out of bed, go to work, come home from work.
  • Look at the clock AGAIN to make sure you really have to get up.
  • Talking baby talk to your furry/scaly/etc family members.
  • That little countdown before you leave the house.

Those habits appear to have an addictive property to them, don’t they?  What if you removed that habit from your daily life for a period of time?

  1. Could you survive?  (Yes, it’s pretty likely you could – you just may not want to.)
  2. Could you do it?  (Yup, again, you could do it, you just may not want to.)
  3. What would the outcome be?

Try this as an experiment: Find one of those habits that you’d be willing to give up for a minimum of 7 days.  Don’t cheat!  Really challenge yourself to give up something that you love.  For example, I LOVE ice cream.  Currently I have been abstaining for 28 days.  I’m still alive, FYI.  I don’t think I want to give up my wife kissing me before she gets out of bed, ever – and that statement alone implies that I am depending – or addicted – to it, doesn’t it?  Maybe I should’ve used that as my example?  Eh…

During this challenge become aware of the thoughts that swirl through your head, the cravings and desires that pop up.  Be honest with yourself about why this thing that you’ve given up is even a habit to begin with.  Take the ice cream example – I love the flavor, I love the cool texture, I love the creativity of flavors even though I tend to choose vanilla 9.999999999 times out of 10, I loved when my dad would grab my ice cream cone and clean it up so it didn’t drip on my hands (inevitably leaving less for me to consume).  There are fond memories surrounding this habit of mine.  Would they go away if I gave up ice cream?  No.  But I bet when I have some ice cream after this challenge is over it will be incredibly delicious with a new memory etched in the filing cabinet of my memory bank.  Suddenly I’m craving ice cream.

You know the feeling...

You know the feeling…

If this habit is/was something that is/was truly something pleasurable and special to you after this hiatus I imagine it will have even more meaning to you when you decide to go back to it – or it’s time to let it go completely since it really wasn’t serving you any longer.  Only you can decide that.  I’d love to hear your experiences.  Drop me a line in the comment section.

Today’s Total: 9 (lost my grain point)

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2 comments

    1. Exactly – even those little things that are “good” we go about doing without awareness of even doing them. They take on less meaning. Thanks for the comment!

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