Old Habits Die Harder

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They say research has proven that it takes twenty-one days to form a new habit. Right! I don’t think so—at least not for me it doesn't. I say old habits die harder.

For instance, I recently purchased quite a bit of new skincare. Over the winter my skin was just horrid, and the turning fifty thing sure wasn’t helping either. Well, I finally decided to bite the bullet and spend a bit more than I already was. A bit more? Haha! I went from Cetaphil to Bliss Youth as We Know It. And for those of you who know what I’m talking about, that was a financial leap. Anyway, I bought all this stuff and religiously used it. The more I did, the better my skin looked and felt. Within a month’s time, my skin was not only glowing, but it felt almost as soft as my granddaughter’s skin. The wrinkles, roughness, blackheads, and quite a bit of my Rosacea were all gone. 

You would think that would be enough for anyone, with any sense, to keep it up every day—day and night—no matter what. Nope, not me. It all started one night when I was a bit too tired, and all I wanted to do was go to bed, so I decided it could wait until morning, just this once. Then I started putting off the night-time routine more and more often, and before I knew it, that good habit started falling by the wayside—again. I never was really good at bedtime face-washing routines. Then I started skipping doing the masks and the scrubs, and now I’m back to square one. Of course, I will get back on track again—and off track again. It’s a vicious cycle I’m doomed to repeat.

But skincare isn’t my only bad habit that I seem unable to completely break. I’m in a constant battle to stay thinnish. I say that because it’s just so hard to balance looks versus really living, and there has to be a balance, especially with fifty-year-old hormones. Menopause puts on weight, lower metabolism due to age puts on weight, calories put on weight, not exercising puts on weight. I know my super skinny days are gone; not that I really mind that too much. At least now I have more of a womanly figure, but I do have to be careful and work harder to not let that get out of hand. 

So do I live in a foodless, tasteless world where I work out every day? Of course not, but the battle to balance it all rages on. I go up five to ten pounds and down five to ten pounds—nothing like good ol’ yo-yo dieting. I’ll stick with my diet for so long, then all of a sudden real food starts looking good again. Plus, when I do lose weight it always wants to disappear from my already small chest, and when I gain it back it always want to land on my abdomen. Why can’t that be the other way around? Then I probably wouldn’t mind the weight.

Speaking of exercise: Most Mondays I remember to exercise, Wednesdays are a maybe, and by the time Friday rolls around, well you know. Then the weekend comes and I want to wear something nice for our date night, but nothing fits right. I swear at the mirror, and I swear at myself, and I swear I’m going to get back on track…on Monday. 

Now I’m not totally unsuccessful at breaking bad habits. I did quit biting my nails…finally. But I sure didn’t do it in twenty-one days. Nope! Try more like 42 years, but I finally did it, and I haven’t had the urge to bite them since. I now take pride in how nice they look, though I can get lazy about taking care of them from time to time. Oh well, like I said—old habits die harder.

I could go on and on writing about all the bad habits I’ve tried to break. There are so many things that I know I should do, try to do, right but don’t. So tell me, does it really take only twenty-one days to form a new habit? Is there a trick to this formula that I’m missing? Am I the only one who struggles to keep the good habits and get rid of the bad?

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