Monday, 18 May 2015

Habits and Routines

I remember my Dad telling me it took three weeks to make something a habit. I suppose that's true for activities like driving a new car or having a new house, or even something as simple as drinking coffee without sugar.

But how do you make some simple thing into a habit?

I talked before about the rash I get whenever I go out in the sun. I bought a SPF 60 sunscreen lotion and the first day I tried it I was pleased to see...or not see...a sun induced rash on my face.

Obviously I haven't made putting sunscreen on a habit. Yesterday I was housecleaning, tossed the door mats out and went back later to shake them out. Outside, of course.

While I was outside I watered my potted plants. One pot was to be placed on the chair in my garden but I hadn't taken the hanging 'thingie' off and struggled to remove it. It required a trip back in the house for a pair of pliers, but I got it done.

All of that took, maybe, five minutes. And that is all it took, five minutes of sunshine and I could feel the blisters forming across my face as I watched television that evening.

I need to put a reminder on my door to apply the lotion every time I go out the door. I forget when I take my coffee out to enjoy a beautiful spring morning, or to water my plants, or visit with a neighbour. I did remember when I was getting ready to leave the house, knowing I would be in the sun walking to and from the car.

The smart thing to do would be to carry the sunscreen lip balm in my pocket, at least I could rub it across my nose and cheeks if I find myself outside and without.

Three weeks to be a habit, eh? Well, Dad, I'm going to try my very best, send me some kind of sign if you see me forget.

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