Bad habits

Aristotle said we are creatures of habit. Implicit therein is the habits can be good or bad. Charles Duhigg wrote an excellent book called “The Power of Habit,” where he noted the way to stop a bad habit, is to identify the trigger and replace the bad habit with a better one.

Old habits. The bad ones can be as simple as too many fried foods or sweets to smoking regular or e-cigarettes to drinking more than one should. Or worse. The good ones could be regular meditation, prayer, yoga or exercise, reading or selective and portion controlling eating habits.

Or, the habits could be less concrete. Kindness, civility, and decency are enviable habits, just as rudeness, bullying, lying etc. are habits to avoid emulating.

I have shared before that I am an alcoholic. Yet, to avoid a future train wreck, I stopped drinking more than twelve years ago. The key was a day-by-day mantra I learned from another struggling alcoholic – “I am not going to drink today.” Another key is the substitution of other habits – fruits and fruit juices, selective sweets, hot tea, etc. – instead of a drink.

Another habit I had to lick was to get my weight in order. The stopping drinking helped, but I was carrying too much. Over about a five year period, I have been able to drop 45 pounds. The keys have been fewer white foods – those wonderful carb loaded potatoes, pasta, rice and bread. The other key is portion control whether it is a meal or snack. On snacks, serve a small bowl and leave the bag in the pantry. On meals, serve smaller portions and avoid the temptation to go back.

Plus, I added a daily exercise routine of about fifteen minutes after I shower. This is supplemented with walks and hikes a couple of times a week.

Good habits. Make sure they are sustainable. That had been a dieting and exercise challenge before and my weight yo-yoed. Best wishes on finding better habits should you need to go down that path.


26 thoughts on “Bad habits

  1. Words of wisdom, my friend! I think the person who says he/she has no bad habits has the bad habit of being a liar, for I’ve never known anybody who didn’t have some. As you know, I am a 3-pack-a-day smoker, and quite honestly I doubt I will ever try to kick the habit, for after 55 years now of being a smoker, it’s as much a part of my life as a daily shower, or eating. Other habits, though, I would like to kick, such as having sometimes a short fuse, and being a procrastinator. You, on the other hand, seem to have done well in kicking your bad habits … thumbs up to you! 👍👍

    • Jill, thanks. It takes an effort. I still have a feint echo to drink. See if you can knock that three packs of day down to two is one way to start. I want your opinions around for a long time. Keith

    • What’s wrong with having a short fuse! That’s what i would like to know! The trouble is these days is no one understands folk with short fuses are one who get things done! Like throwing a garden rake the other side of the garden because it was stupidly in the way where you were walking; now some folk would blame themselves, which is all hoo-haa….Stupid garden rakes! In a properly run socialist state, garden rakes would be the property of the state and you would have to apply for one, to use for an allotted time to return to the State Garden Rake Centre, and then no one would step on them…See what I mean about short fuses?…They bring about constructive thinking! (I think I might have put too much coffee in that last cup…but that’s not my fault, spoons are not regulated properly! They would in a socialist state y’know….Bahh!)

      • Roger, you must read “A man called Ove,” if you have not. It peels layers back from the onion of a curmudgeon. Keith

      • That looks interesting. I see a film was made in Sweden and one with Tom Hanks involvement may be in the production line.
        By good chance there is an audio book which is my preferred way these days – it’s on my wish list for Audible Books.
        Thanks for the heads up Keith.

      • Oh dear Roger … you make me smile … nay, you make me actually laugh, you ol’ socialist curmudgeon with a secretly soft heart! My short fuse wouldn’t bother me much, but for that sometimes it is turned upon people who didn’t deserve my temper, like the girls, or even the moggies. But, I shall remember your rake theory!

      • Roger, just simmer a little and not boil over. Your opinions are well-grounded and well-thought out. To be frank, they need to be heard, not ignored because someone sees you as ranting. I have often said, Trump wants a mud fight, not a debate, as he is better armed with mud than facts and legitimate arguments. Too many of his followers and sycophants follow suit. Keith

      • Maybe it’s something to do with the echoes of the (now slumbering) heritage of the welsh fiery preachers and political orators I was brought up with, but I feel it only needs someone with true fire within them who could mercilessly challenge him in a debate and puncture that big bag of wind, which is all he is.

      • Roger, I am reminded of the Tom Cruise/ Jack Nicholson movie “A Few Good Men.” Cruise as counsel got Nicholson to confess by asking the simple question “Why did you have to give the second order when all your orders are obeyed?”

        In Trump’s case, the debater could simply ask, “If the call was so perfect, why did your people try to bury it?” Keith

  2. I admire you courage and your approach Keith. Too many folk (looking at myself here) are in a hurry to find something outside of their own personal control to blame. (Hence the satire early on inspired by Jill’s comment). I keep telling myself I should walk more, but somehow never get around to it…there is always something (excuse time) else to do.
    Ah me…..

    • Roger, thanks. We fortunately live about a mile and a half (or less) from three different shopping areas. I can plan a short walk around small excursions – haircut, car maintenance, one bag shopping, etc. Do try to walk some. It helps. Watch our for those rakes (your satire). Keith

      • That is handy, I shall have to work out my own rout. (My rake and other garden implements are secured in a small shed, but by some circumstance which I can only conclude is down to the combined mischief of all the keys- none of them seem to fit the lock, by good fortune the weather is very inclement so I’m not allowed to play in the garden)

      • Roger, those old keys. We sold a luggage carrier for a former van that we had not used in fifteen years. Finding the key was the albatross. The last key I tried, which I was sure would not fit, was the one. Someone took it off our hands, which got it out of our attic. Keith

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