There’s a myth that it takes three weeks to establish a habit. I actually think that’s crap. I think it depends on the type of habit tha tyou’re trying to create, and the level of effort required.

For instance, cleaning the house. You know a clean house makes your mentally feel better, and yet, cleaning it is always a chore, and rarely becomes a habit. Let’s face it, unless you’re my mother, your cleaning schedule is probably more haphazard than habitual. Same with so many things that are good for you. To wit:

  • Vegetable prep.
  • Cooking.
  • Mowing the lawn.
  • Colouring your own hair.
  • Returning library books on time.

Okay, maybe that’s just a list of things I suck at personally. It’s not that I suck at them, it’s just that I find them to be a chore, and any possible excuse not to do them pretty much grabs me. I’m like Doug the dog from the movie Up (“squirrel” is often used at my management meetings, by the way, for when we get sidetracked by stuff).

Basically, I’m like the queen of very short attention spans. It’s pretty much defined my life, actually. I spent 10 years in a field of work where things changed about every 15 minutes. I played team sports (in shifts) and play squash (a 40 minute game) in a manner that the pro describes as 50% squash, 50% trash talk. The only aberration – I like to hike. Weird, but being outside and having to check a map and stuff makes me not be bored.

As you know, I met Kelly last week and we talked about goals and the like. Still haven’t come up with a short term goal, but tonight I did go to the gym (first time in four mondays that I’ve said I would go and actually did!). And I got on the exercise bike (knee friendly) and stayed on it for 40 minutes. No spinning instructor, nobody to talk to. Just me and the bike.

Courtesy of the suggestion of some friends who have made big changes in their lives, I listened to a podcast instead of music. It was a funny one, so occasionally I was laughing while panting, which is a bit uncomfortable, but hey, it distracts from the bike pain. I also scored a major people watching bike, overlooking pretty much the entire gym. Major win! I’m looking for that bike again in the future.

I have to say, even though I really thought it was going to suck, it didn’t. The 40 minutes passed at a reasonable speed, and then I stretched and headed out. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it, either. I could see doing it again. I could also see trying to get out of doing it again. I think it would take years for the act of going to the gym on a monday night to bike to become a habit.

So tonight I did something that was good for me, marginally boring, and didn’t suck. In the land of Kerry where small victories are treasured, I will count that as a win. Sometimes, not sucking is truly enough.

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