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A habit does not a monk make

01/04/2010

Ok, so I have taken the quote out of context…..sue me!   I got the train to work for the first time in ten days this morning and, like ever, I got on at the same door, sat in the same seat and saw the same people who I normally see.  All in the same places that they normally are and all doing the things that they normally do.  Force of habit I guess that even after a break, we just carry on doing what we do.

And habits, of course, are the things that reassure us.  Habits, even when they are bad ones, make us feel better about ourselves, they help us to define who we are, how we are, and ultimately what we are.  My guess is there will be a lot of people at the moment wrestling with their habits as part of their New Year resolutions.  Ultimately, trying to change who they are and what they are.  It is hard, it is tough and many people of course will fail.  Thus putting in place another habit.  The failing one.

I used to smoke.  Not huge amounts, but enough to kill me.  I would try time and time to quit and never quite make it.  Then not making it became acceptable.  Because that was what I did, that was who I was.  I was the guy that “tried” to give up smoking but could never quite make it.  But the intentions were there right?  I mean you can’t blame me….I was trying.  Two years ago I went to a hypnotherapist.  I went in, spent an hour and 45 minutes (and £250) and have not smoked a cigarette (nor indeed wanted one) since.  Was it magic?  Don’t ask me, I was out for the count.  But the one thing I remember the hypnotherapist saying before the session was that most people who stop and then start again, stop for long enough for the physical addiction to have worn off.  It is not the nicotine that gets them.  It’s the habit.

I don’t have anything major to “give up” this year – which in itself is a sad portrayal of my slip into middle age.  But I am going to be reducing the amount of alcohol that I intake and try to introduce more fish into my diet, both at the advice of the lovely specialist trying to ensure that I don’t slip into an early and unwelcome grave!  The latter I’m guessing is going to be easier than the former and I am already trying to get my head around the idea of not having that welcome home glass of white wine.  As for work………?  That is a slightly harder one.  But I have been here for over a year now and I figure I should probably take a look inside that filing cabinet in the corner of my office.  You never know, there might be something in there that might be kind of useful.

If you are trying to make a change as a result of a New Year resolution or just for the sake of it, remember it is all in the head.  You choose to do it or not do it.  You are in control.  Good luck with kicking the habit.  Just make sure there is no monk in it first.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Rick permalink
    01/04/2010 17:42

    Fascinating. Do you reckon hypnotherapy works then?

  2. 01/04/2010 20:22

    Great work on dumping the ciggies…I’ll think of you every time I’m tempted to overeat. Weight loss is my 2010 goal…

  3. RyanW permalink
    01/05/2010 18:25

    Hopefully the hypnotherapist didn’t turn you into the Manchurian Candidate or imbed any obscure trigger words that will make you curse in church and like. If no, then congrats on kicking the smokes.

    And watch the fish or you may be replacing nicotine with mercury. The amount present in some fish these days is much higher. Depending on where you get your info, it doesn’t take as much fish as you might think to build up a harmful dose.

    Live long and prosper in 2010.

  4. 01/06/2010 09:28

    @Rick – I’m not sure I would say it works in every situation for every person, but it certainly worked a treat for me. Having spent years painfully trying to give up and failing desperately. This was the easiest thing in the world. I have never looked back.

    @mkeefer – Good luck with the weight loss. I’ll be working on that too trying to get back to my fighting weight!

    @RyanW – Welcome and thanks for the comment. You’ll see from my post today that I’m worrying you might be right on the old mercury poisoning! Still, we all need to have at least one vice and maybe its time to share my love around!

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