I gave up sugar how many days ago? Eleven, but who's counting? Hardly any time at all, you say. Honestly, the first few days were easy. Then, yesterday and today the gnawing of the hand began. I finally ate a teaspoon of honey and a handful of blueberries today, not that they helped.
So I googled habit and here's some interesting things I found here.
Three to four weeks is all the time you need to make a habit automatic.
Right. If I don't kill someone before a month is up.
Around two weeks into your commitment it can be easy to forget. Place reminders to execute your habit each day or you might miss a few days.
Right. Like I'm going to forget. My raw and bleeding hand, that I've been gnawing, will remind me for sure.
Get a Buddy - Find someone who will go along with you and keep you motivated if you feel like quitting.
Right. Who is stupid enough to give up sugar? Only people who want a new and improved mental illness.
Form a Trigger - A trigger is a ritual you use right before executing your habit (or not executing the old habit, I guess). If you wanted to wake up earlier, this could mean waking up in exactly the same way each morning. If you wanted to quit smoking you could practice snapping your fingers each time you felt the urge to pick up a cigarette.
Right. People would ask me if I had an invisible i-pod and was snappin' to the oldies--ALL DAY LONG.
Replace Lost Needs - If you are giving up something in your habit, make sure you are adequately replacing any needs you’ve lost.
Right. I'll start sucking rocks. It will just look like a Tootsie Pop.
Use “But” - A prominent habit changing therapist once told me this great technique for changing bad thought patterns. When you start to think negative thoughts, use the word “but” to interrupt it. “I’m no good at this, but, if I work at it I might get better later.”
His name was Dr. Therapist Butt, for sure. (Forgive me. And on a Sunday, too.)
Remove Temptation - Restructure your environment so it won’t tempt you in the first thirty days. Remove junk food from your house, cancel your cable subscription, throw out the cigarettes so you won’t need to struggle with willpower later.
Have you read labels lately? Sugar is in everything. If it's not sugar it's corn syrup, which is worse as it messes with normal brain function. No wonder our schools are full of attention deficit kids. So, the cupboards would be bare and the broccoli would be calling my name, maybe?
Associate With Role Models - Spend more time with people who model the habits you want to mirror.
Give me a break. If I could catch up with the skinny-non-sugar-eating women of the world, I'd do it.
Write it Down - A piece of paper with a resolution on it isn’t that important. Writing that resolution is. Writing makes your ideas more clear and focuses you on your end result.
And my house would look like this.
Know the Benefits - Familiarize yourself with the benefits of making a change.
Benefit #1. I'm cranky. Benefit #2. I eat more because I am never satisfied. Benefit #3. I don't have to bother entertaining because I'm so cranky no one wants to come over. Shall I continue?
This represents cranky me on the right. All other people, on the left.
Well, that about covers it. I'm still off sugar, if you don't count the tsp. of honey--oh, and the non-sugar cookies my favorite Jr. Writer left on my doorstep. By the way, CJ, I sent you a thank-you email but I have just learned my emails have been depositing in the great Internet garbage can in the sky and haven't been reaching people. Consider yourself hugged and send that recipe to me, pronto!