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June 30, 2014

Drinking to make other people more interesting

I overheard an interesting statement made by someone recently. He stood proudly alongside the announcement he had just made, ‘… I am an Alcoholic…’, and when quizzed about how long he had been off the turps, he replied, “25 years”. “Oh!”, me thinks … if he’s been off the nectar for that long, why is he still scratching the surface of this scab. It just sounds so negative to be giving yourself a label when you have proven to be a tower of strength and a conqueror over a terrible dependency. I certainly don’t hear self-deprecating comments made by ex-smokers. I think they embrace the positive and say that they have quit, or that they no longer smoke when offered a ciggy. That seems to make a lot more sense to me. Did you know on average, it takes more than two months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact. And how long it takes a new habit to form can vary widely depending on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances. If you want to set your expectations appropriately, the truth is that it will probably take you anywhere from two months to eight months to build a new behavior into your life. Not 21 days, which I believe is a misconception, or urban myth or feel good, short term target flaunted by so called do gooders.
Most people believe that habits are formed by completing a task for 21 days in a row. Twenty-one days of task completion, then voila, a habit is formed. Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth. The 21-day myth began as a misinterpretation of Dr. Maxwell Maltz’s work on self-image. Maltz did not find that 21 days of task completion forms a habit. People wanted it to be true so much so, however, that the idea began to grow in popularity.
Here’s an interesting read, amongst a myriad of others about the 21 Day Myth I gave up alcohol 9 months ago, it was tough but I feel like a winner!

One Response

  1. Malia says:

    Woohoo!! What did you win??

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