Some­one told me it only takes seven days to break a habit, and I think I be­lieve them.

Expat Living (Singapore) - - Editor’s Note - RE­BECCA BISSET Ed­i­tor-in-chief

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]­patliv­ If it’s not il­le­gal, we’ll share it!

P.S. Thanks to all who bought a mag sub­scrip­tion linked to ACRES ( – this raised $1,800 for them and will go to help­ing with an­i­mal food and util­i­ties so they can keep up the great work!

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