There is a common, oft-repeated belief that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Listerine has a challenge built around it. Popsugar claims it can banish your belly fat. Even Jay-Z and Beyoncé used it to attempt veganism.
In other words, want to quit smoking/give up sugar/exercise more/wake up earlier? Simply commit to doing it for 21 days in a row, and voilà, a new habit is formed. Trick your brain into thinking it's temporary, in other words, and after three weeks, your brain will want to do the new thing all on its own.
While the 21-day-belief system has pretty much been proven to be a myth (it's more like an average of 66 days, but who's counting), I still think it's worth a check-in now that I've been blogging for 21 days straight. I'd never even written one blog post before January 1st. In fact, I didn't start this one with the intention of writing more than 'maybe every once in a while,' whatever that meant.
But I've always wanted to start one, or at least to write more than I typically have, which is...well, not much. I've always wanted additional creative outlets; I've just been fearful to try them. Pursuing a more traditional, corporate, and, frankly, boring path always seemed like the safer option. It's why I did the things I was 'supposed to', like get an MBA, work in banking, and so on.
But I guess the thing is...says who? Who am I 'supposed' to do these things for, really? Not my parents. Not my friends. Not "society." So maybe it's time to listen a little more closely to what genuinely excites me, and right now, my little blog is doing that. For 21 days, I've thought to myself, what shall I write about today? I've noticed little things in my day, like the sun breaking through the clouds, or Vegemite! I've listened to random thoughts in my head, like, Could 'Ode to a stepstool' be a compelling blog post? (Doubtful.) I like this feeling of excitement. It's new and strange and fun. It makes me want more of it.
I have no idea how many more days in a row I'll blog. I hope a lot. I hope I make it to 66 days, or maybe beyond, though I'm not quite ready to officially commit to that. But I have 21 Happy Moments to show for this experiment so far, and if that's not a habit, at least it'll be a good memory.