I’ve been told, some years back, that it takes two weeks to build a habit. I am about to test that theory.
Recently, as in a few days ago, I wrote about learning that turning off the TV after the kids go to bed I have time to write. In reality, it feels like that should have been a no brainer, but the human mind is a funny thing. We get stuck in ruts and feel better by talking (see complaining in the dictionary) instead of doing. I’m at a week and a half without turning on the TV after the Squirts go to bed. In that time I’ve made considerable progress on Crescent Knights, sent out a query to a literary agent, cleaned part of my house, jumped on the treadmill…
The list goes on and will probably go further. To be exact in my count, I’ve gone 8 days of following this routine. Saturday and Sunday I gave myself permission to watch TV instead of doing stuff. Still, I didn’t watch much because I kept saying I should work on something.
Go me, right?
Sort of. I’ve tried to build habits like this in the past and I’m bitterly reminded of my failures when I think about them so I try not to BUT, sometimes it can’t be helped. On the eve of my success with finding two miraculous hours (ok, I’ll be honest, I’ve stayed up late several times due to writing), I decided to try building a second habit that is unrelated.
I’m going to exercise, if not daily then at least every other day.
Unfortunately, the moment I said that to myself, I’m reminded of the many times I’ve made the same promise/decision to do it. Because of that I’m worried, but when I think about these past 8 days, I really believe this may be the time when I’m going to be successful.
Remember, they say it takes two weeks to build it, two more weeks to keep it. That’s one month to build both of these habits. I have no doubts when it comes to my writing. I’ve been happier in the last 8 days than I can express. With everything else going on with my life, each phone call a potential of containing bad news, I’m still smiling, laughing, and looking forward to when the kids go to bed. Not because I’ll be free of them, but because my computer is waiting for me to start letting the words flow out of me.
However, with all of that said, despite what I’ve heard, I’m going to stay on my case for 6 weeks instead of 4. That means a total of 42 days. Hmm, I think I may do one of those count down widgets for each habit to show my progress. Try to use the power of social accountability as my ally. Either that or ask anyone to shame me into keeping up with it. Whichever is fine with me. 😀