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Bad Habits

June 6, 2002

When someone says “bad habits”, I think first of things I don’t do– bite my nails or smoke or get drunk every weekend—but of course I do other things that qualify as bad habits. There’s hopping on the scale every morning for no good reason, for example.

Another of my bad habits is drinking two or three cans of diet Coke each day. It’s part of my routine: a diet Coke while I write morning pages, another diet Coke when I get to the office, often another one before or with lunch. Recently, though, the caffeine’s been getting to me, and since Saturday, I’ve made a conscious effort to cut back and have been averaging a little over a can a day and have already noticed a change for the better. No more heart palpitations or related symptoms, and I didn’t even get the caffeine withdrawal headache I feared (of course, I haven’t withdrawn all the caffeine yet, either). I used to scoff at caffeine free diet Coke—what was the purpose of that?!—but now I find I’m the target audience. I stocked my office with that and diet Sprite and diet Squirt, so I can still have something bubbly to drink. So far, so good.

Looking at my goals for this year, I see that a lot of those, too, are related to changing what could be considered bad habits, or at the very least the absence of good habits: eating too much of the wrong things without thinking, not exercising, not taking the time to do regular house cleaning, wasting time on tv and magazines when I could be reading or quilting.

I found an article about changing bad habits and was pleased to find that I’ve already done a lot of the things they suggest. (I would provide a link, but the Terms of Use on their main site had more restrictions on linking to them than I wanted to deal with). I’ve decided on a time frame. I’ve shared my goals with other people, both online and off, many of whom were probably not interested, but listened politely all the same. I’m working on changing my routine. My Taco Bell and McDonald’s stops are few and far between these days. On their list but not on mine is visualization. I keep meaning to do collages about my goals, but haven’t managed to do that yet. I did print out each of my goals on decorative paper and put them all together in binder, so that’s a first step. I am definitely keeping a journal, adding this online version to the paper volumes I’ve scribbled in for years. And I do intend to keep trying.

Despite all that, I may arrive at the end of my goal year and not have done some of the things I set out to do. It may be that I’ll decide on a different goal weight, or that reading printed books instead of just listening to the tapes is not as important as I thought. For a lot of things, I get to decide what constitutes a bad habit, and whether I’m going to do anything about it even if it is.


Go see what other participants in Kismet and Jette’s June Journal SMACKdown! have to say about bad habits.

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