66 days. That is how long it takes to create a new habit. A little over two months. Not so long in the grand scheme of things but a long time when you are trying to adopt a new custom. The nice thing about knowing this, though, is you can mark it on the calendar and see an end date. Then you do not have to keep track of it and can just make plans one day at a time. What would you like to do on a regular basis that you are not doing now? Work out? Eat healthier? Quit smoking? Get organized? Clean? (That last one is definitely me!). It is possible to make any of these goals, and more, into a habit if you just go one day at a time and stick with it for 66 days. Take exercise. How many people make a New Year’s resolution to work out more? That is a very broad statement and by the middle of January the best of intentions fall by the wayside. However, if you say, I want to work out on a regular basis until March 7, there is an end in sight and the goal is much more narrow and manageable. You start going to the gym or taking more walks or finding a way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine and when March 7 comes along you will feel so much better about yourself you won’t want to stop! It is now a habit. I started a thankful journal in the beginning of April. Every night before I go to bed I write something that I am thankful for. A few are silly, such as I am thankful for pizza. Some nights I feel a little more profound and write that I am thankful for my wonderfully supportive husband, or for spring and the beautiful things that come with the season. Sometimes I have to remind myself to write something, and have even had to turn the light back on because I forgot. Now, almost two full months in, it has become such a part of my routine that I find myself thinking about what I am going to write before I even head upstairs. So what do you want to do? If you start on June 1 you will have a new habit by August 5.
Part of my blogging will include writing about food and recipes. I hope to share some of my favorites and to pass along any suggestions and tips I have about cooking. Preparing a meal is often easier than many people think. Once you are in the habit (66 days from now) you realize there is no secret nor special skill necessary to making great and tasty food. I truly believe if I use ingredients that I know I like, how can it go wrong? Don’t answer that! Once I got in the habit of cooking I came to see recipes as guidelines as opposed to rigid instructions. If a recipe calls for eggplant and we do not like eggplant, I use another vegetable. If it says to use an egg and I am fresh out I use flax or chia mixed with water. If I am tired or do not have much time I have a few fall back recipes I can throw together with whatever I have in the cupboard. You get the idea. So starting with my next blog entry I will share what I will be making for dinner and any interesting food related topics I have come across.