Habits and Happiness 8: Keep doing it. It’s a new habit till you want it to stop

One of the issue for me is that I make glacial progress but as you’ll know from my first posting on H&H habits take a lot more than the oft quoted time of 21 days to embed. The latest research indicates a range of between 18 days and 256 days to "automaticity" I.e. doing/not doing without thinking, depending on the "ease/difficulty of the change. I am sort of there because I am going to the health club as often as 3 x per week, I am trying to eat better, and drink less. Great example today I avoided cherry cheesecake in our excellent staff café and instead had grapes. I have also recently taken up a boxer training. It’s been great for a whole lot of things and has given me great insight as a learning adviser.

For example it’s taught me that putting a boxing bandage on is a cognitive skill in itself, almost as tricky as knitting. It’s also taught me that knowing how to duck and keep you feet is an essential skill in boxing.

Boxing also shows me I have a deficit in what psychologists call "kinaesthetic intelligence" .( sporty co-ordination) It’s also taught me that boxing if done properly and rapidly is an exhausting and enervating workout which leaves you wanting to take on the world, though not literally as Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn have done on occasion! It’s also great for focus as the great Nelson Mandela demonstrated when he boxed to keep himself mentally and physically fit while imprisoned under apartheid. he doesn’t look bad for his age either.

Once learned the basic techniques are embedded I can pair up- with other people and My trainer Richard Wall trained with David Haye is excellent he is well aware of the need to learn and unlike a lot of trainers he doesn’t just shout. So that’s a habit I intend to keep. Next week I’ll e carrying on with an update on my progress and look at some of the issues around how we make and break habits.

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