Friday, 13 April 2012

Cornerstone Habits

So the caffeine withdrawal headache is still there, but not as bad as yesterday.  I’m guessing I’m in for a few rocky days before my body gets used to the idea that we are on another mission.  100 days with no caffeinated drinks.  Why?  Well my reasoning is slightly different from last time.  Last time I wanted to find out how long it took to create a habit.  Naively I concluded about 100 days.  Boy was I wrong.  I think it can take years to override a habit you love like smoking or drinking (alcohol or caffeine), overeating or whatever.  Psychologists believe the habit will always be there, you just have to find ways to overcome it.  I’ve yet to experiment with how long it takes to establish a new good habit.
This time I’ve got two goals with my 100-day challenge.  Firstly, it’s to see if I function better without caffeine in my tea cup.  Secondly, it’s to see if certain techniques work and make it easier for me this time (last time I had three attempts over about a year and a bit).  You’ll hear about my experiences with both goals in the weeks to come, so find another blog now if this sounds marginally less interesting than the washing machine on spin cycle.

In fact, there is a sneaky third idea.  And that’s the idea of a cornerstone habit.  A cornerstone habit is a habit that starts off other good habits.  When I tried giving up caffeine a few years ago I found I was less likely to have a glass of wine in the evening, and more likely to exercise.  That sounds a bit like kicking-caffeine might be a cornerstone habit for me.  So I’m going to repeat the experiment and see what happens.

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