Someone told me it only takes seven days to break a habit, and I think I believe them.
This is most evident whenever I rent a car. The indicator is invariably on the “wrong” side and I spend the first week of my trip (and my return) with very clean windows. It’s annoying for the adult driver, but apparently quite amusing for children.
Standard scenario: you’ve navigated leaving the airport after a 14-hour flight with little sleep. The windows have been “wiped” a few times, but you’re sure you’ve “got it” now. Then, as you’re on the 14th roundabout looking to turn off the B21234 onto the B21235, you realise this is the spot. Barbara (the lady inside the GPS) is starting to really wind you up, a massive truck is homing down on you from behind, and the windscreen wipers start waving madly in front of you – again.
This is when the children crack up; “Oh mum, you’re so funny.” It’s said like I am doing all this for their entertainment. After a week, I have usually got the hang of it but then when you get back to Singapore, you have to go through it all again.
So, if seven days is all it takes, we should be able to get rid of bad habits if we really want to. I’ve worked out a way to help another habit I seem to have got into (as I am sure we all have): binge-watching a series. What you have to do is stop in the middle of an episode, not at the end. The ends are always too exciting, and it’s too easy to think “just one more”. So, I have changed it to “just half a one more” – and it seems to be working.
Have you had any luck with breaking bad habits? Write to us at [email protected]patliving.sg. If it’s not illegal, we’ll share it!
P.S. Thanks to all who bought a mag subscription linked to ACRES (acres.org.sg) – this raised $1,800 for them and will go to helping with animal food and utilities so they can keep up the great work!