a colleague recently shared with a group of us that one of her mantras for 2014 was “no habit is an accident”.
for whatever reason, it really caught my attention. although I’ve already bitten off plenty for my 2014, I can’t help but want to explore this idea with her.
basically, we all have habits. lots of them. and if you really think about it, none of them are accidents.
according to Charles Duhigg, they’re actually a three-part process known as a “habit loop”:
trigger (a cue). routine (the behavior itself). reward (something about it your brain likes & remembers in the future).
essentially, most of our habits are automated. so in order to create new ones, we must form new patterns.
i’m sure we can all admit to having less than stellar habits, as well as great ones. or maybe you have ones, that you actually have no clue why or how they came to be. I definitely have a lot of those.
so I’ve decided to dive right in to 11 whole months of exploring my strongest habits. to keep it simple and focused, I’m choosing 1 per month. It could be anyyyything. positive or negative. breaking the old or forming anew.
for February, I’ve picked one that is quite possibly going to be the most challenging habit for me to break. literally one that I can’t even believe I’m even putting myself to the test of conquering…
it might sound silly, but I have a gum addiction. i loooove it.
after every meal, it’s gum. when I’m bored, it’s gum. when I’m weightlifting or running really long distances, it’s gum. when I’m anxious or want to concentrate, it’s gum. when I’m not even really thinking, somehow gum has made its way into my mouth.
gum has its perks as much as it has its pitfalls (digestive issues, bloating, artificial sugars, chemicals, apparently something awful called phenylalanine, and I’m pretty sure it makes me dehydrated. I often chew a piece rather than just reaching for water…it makes your salivate).
as if that’s not enough, I read this article tonight by Food Babe and figured I could stand to step awayyy from the pack. but according to her, I should also just chew fennel seeds. great. I can see it now: post dinner, I’m all like, “hey, anyone want a fennel seed for some minty-fresh breath?” oy vey. Either that, or I’ll be the crazy one with a toothbrush on her at. all. times.
I definitely don’t believe everything I read, and I think people could find something wrong with everything these days, but I’m mostly curious to see if I’ll notice any difference without it.
so here goes nothing. an entire month sans gum. lucky for me, February is only 28 days.
Laterrr, Stride. I will miss you more than you know.
feel free to join in. what will you explore this February?