Good Habits, Bad Habits and Just Habits

30 Jan

The dictionary tells us that a habit is a disposition to act in a particular way, or a learned response to a particular situation, and habits are something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently. Two of the women at work are trying to give up smoking. Both are wearing patches, so it’s not the craving they are wrestling with just now, it’s the habit.

And last week I felt like a cup of tea. Now this might not seem like anything stunning, but I never, ever drink tea (except when I was pregnant, which I am most definitely not!). I just wanted a cup of tea instead of coffee. So instead of barely noticing what I was drinking, I actually paid attention to the taste, and when I drank my next coffee I was more aware of its taste too.

So I’ve been considering the benefits of changing and breaking habits. Walking down a different road can spark new ideas that the same route wouldn’t hold out for you; reading a different newspaper can make you aware of different opinions; listening to a new radio station, well, you get the idea.

I’ve also started turning on the TV while I have my lunch. In one regard it’s good because it helps me relax after 4 hours on my feet at work but as we all know, TV is a terrible time thief. So today I broke the habit by turning off the TV as soon as I’d finished my lunch, went out for a walk, freshened my head and felt a lot better. And that’s the thing about habits, sometimes we think they are neither good or bad, but actually they become barriers, things we put in our own way to stop us from achieving what we really want. So a month after the New Year it’s time for looking at habits and deciding which ones need breaking and which ones need making.

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