Patterns, habits and positive steps
Have you heard that it takes three weeks to break a habit?
That the hardest part of giving something up is the first three days, and then the rest is mind over matter? That patterns can be broken, and they can be changed and adapted?
Throughout my training as a counsellor and my work in private practice, I’ve heard these things over and over. I’ve said them myself in sessions. I’ve given up smoking myself roughly about three years ago and I know I will always be an ex-smoker not a non-smoker. I broke that destructive habit, that bad pattern of behaviour and ritual that I had; get up, clothes, and smoke.
...But what about good patterns? Great habits and rituals that we have? Where do we celebrate those?
I was thinking about this whilst running on a treadmill. I’ve always enjoyed running. I do it when I’m stressed, want to clear my mind and have some just me moments. But it has now developed in to a habit. I’ve looked back through my Fitbit and realised that my running is now far too consistent to just be a whim I do every now and again. It’s a habit, I even have a time during the day I run. I have a ritual attached for afterwards, I stretch out, shower, then I eat oatmeal. It’s a habit, and a good one.
Now when I get up in the morning I drink a lovely cup of coffee with freshly ground beans that I hand crank myself. I love it, my house smells brilliant and I don’t have to stand outside in the rain. Also instead of being stuck on one brand of menthol cigarettes, I can explore the taste range of coffee beans and not have them diluted by tobacco.
So I’m championing the good habits, the brilliant rituals that I’ve picked up and the pattern in behaviour that is comforting and healthy. Not enough people celebrate their good habits, their successful rituals and their interesting patterns that get them through the day.