Where shall i begin, please your Majesty?’ asked the White Rabbit
‘Begin at the beginning,’ the King said gravely, ‘and go on till you come to the end: then stop.’
(From~~Alice in Wonderland)
Ever notice that FM station RJs often come up with the darnedest of factoids in their glib and garrulous avatars that intersperse the advertorials and the music on radios. Like the other day one of them spouted out that it takes 66 days to form a habit! The number was the result of a study conducted by a health psychology researcher and her team at the University College of London. (Just as an aside am quite amazed at how many inane studies are carried out in the name of science!! Not to say that i’m discounting this one but you can’t help but notice this dangerous trend…the way we spread myths in the name of ‘researched-truths’ on the internet. Sooner or later if a sufficient number of people quote or even misquote something enough times everyone else starts to believe in its veracity, and thereby hangs another tale for another time!) For now to return to that number of “66 days” the team found that it takes anywhere from two months to eight months to incorporate a new routine into your lives (the average being 66 days). Simple behavioural changes like drinking water after a meal instead of with it may reach automaticity fairly quickly, while more complex habits like getting up early every morning for a walk or jog may take much longer in comparison!
That set me thinking about my own latest-habit-forming-endeavour of a daily creative writing routine…come to think of it most things these days just tend to revolve around that obsession! One would think that with nearly sixteen weeks under my belt, the brain too would have been trained by now and at the appointed hour the words should just flow from my fingers onto the keyboard. Alas, those ideas are always elusive, spiralling ever outwards from your spaceship like some nebular galaxies swirling in the profound chasms of time and space! Somedays your Starship Enterprise manages to pierce through and explore those new worlds, other times it just wanders aimlessly among imagery like this that is threatening to flounder me!!
So every once in a while it becomes prudent to remind yourself that acquiring any new habit in life is like a process not an event. You need to forget about the number and focus on just doing the work…’embrace the long slow walk and don’t try and sprint across.’ Stay motivated and keep going, keep going…