A Habit is a routine behaviour and a choice that we deliberately make at some point, and then stop thinking about, but continue doing, often every day.
It starts off right from the time we wake up to find that many of these items are our daily health habits like washing your face, drinking morning coffee, brushing your teeth, and so on. In short, our life today is essentially the sum of our habits.
COFFEE :D… Coffee is my drink, Anytime and Every time! I always thought I can give up anything, but not Coffee.
Individuals can have different habits. They might as well want to give up some of them at certain point of time. Each habit could have a very different effect altogether why one wants to give it up. Giving up coffee is totally different from giving up overeating for an individual. This is because each person’s habits are driven by different cravings.
In this blog I intend to deliver an understanding of how habits work and the mantra for getting rid of a few at your will. REMINDER, ROUTINE and RESULT is the formula which i recommend for individuals to get rid of their habits which they don’t intend continuing anymore or rather want to give up once for all.
One day, I decided to give up drinking coffee for 30 days. Definitely not a self-decision, it came out with a challenge from my friend.
– Here it begins from Day 1. I Reminded myself ,”No Coffee today”, and then I wrote in my room “NO MORE COFFEE”.
– But every morning i manage to ignore that note, get up, get ready, switch on the TV with a cup of coffee to sip on.
– Go to office and again wander towards the cafeteria, buy coffee, while chatting with colleagues and friends.
Obviously I lost the challenge. Its always been a feel good factor while drinking coffee and then looking at the big note “NO MORE COFFEE” only made me feel bad.
Tomorrow, I promise myself, I muster the willpower to resist. Tomorrow will be different.
BUT TOMORROW, THE HABIT TAKES HOLD AGAIN!
The one afternoon my friends made a statement at me “Giving up coffee, You never will”. This triggered me from inside. This time I took up the challenge with the friends again for 30days. Its not that I wanted to prove them wrong but basically I wanted to TEST MYSELF.
– Firstly, I started diagnosing my routine of drinking coffee. The loop was watching TV as soon as I wake up. Did I stop watching TV? No I dint? I just changed my routine. As soon as I woke up, I dint wait to lay back and watch TV rather I freshened up and had breakfast while watching TV.
– On the first day in office, when i felt the urge to go to the cafeteria and have coffee, I adjusted my routine so it keeps me away from coffee. For instance, instead of walking to the cafeteria, I went outside, walked around the block, and then go back to my desk. When I met my friends in the evening, I alternated with Lime tea or Green tea. So, it finally worked!
What I choose to do instead of drinking coffee wasn’t important after all. The point is to test different hypotheses to determine which craving is driving my routine. Am I craving the coffee itself, or a break from work?
If it’s the coffee, is it because am hungry? Or is it because I want the burst of energy the coffee provides? Or, am I wandering up to the cafeteria as an excuse to socialize, and the coffee is just a convenient excuse : These are the results.
Cues of my habit
I knew my habit was only because of the cues. After each activity, I jot down on a piece of paper the first three things that came to mind when i got back to my desk. They can be emotions, random thoughts, reflections on feelings, or just the first three words that pop into the head. (Eg: Laughter, trees, talking to people,..)
Then I realized coffee had nothing to do with any of these. It was mere a problem with me while watching TV, while talking to my friends and socializing with people. From then on, I started saying NO every time I was offered coffee. I indeed alternated it with something healthy, which made me gain power over it. Trust me that’s THE MOST AMAZING FEELING.
The 30 days got over and the wonderful thing is that i just said NO to coffee on the 31st day as well. I was not enjoying the drink any longer. My urge to be healthy took over the habit which i didn’t want anymore. Obviously, changing some habits can be more difficult. But it is all in your mind.
Sometimes a change could take a long time. Sometimes it could require repeated experiments and failures. But once you understand how a habit operates – once you diagnose the cue, the routine and the result – you will definitely gain power over it.
Nothing is an ADDICTION 🙂 Everything is just a HABIT 🙂
Did you have a similar experience fighting any of your habit? Share & Leave your thoughts below! 🙂