Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Day 4 - The Habit Scale (updated)

I'm pleased to welcome you to Day 4 of my 30 (or 100) Day Blog Challenge.  Link up your blog challenge posts at the bottom so I can read them!

I'm supposed to tell you about a habit I wish I didn't have.  There happen to be several habits I actually kinda wish I did have, like smoking crack and robbing banks, because I think I'd seem way more badass.  But that's not what I'm being asked about.

I do have a shit-ton of brutal habits, but I like to think of them as a series - a scale, if you will - that is very effective in eliminating self-judgement. 


First, at the broadest, most forgiving end of the Habit Scale, are the habits that are birthed out of necessity rather than preference.  Things you do because you must in order to maintain a certain stability of mind, but that you nevertheless wish you didn't. 

  • Sleeping in.  Getting up in the morning is a slow and cruel form of torture, when burying my head and ignoring the world would be so. much. fucking. easier. On a bad day it takes hours.  Every morning is s fresh battle with Asshole Depression, and my greatest line of defense is to take my damn time and preserve my energy. Regardless, I wish I didn't sleep in. 
You can't control things like this.  Let it go. 

Second, there are a few stages in the middle range of the Habit Scale, but the lines are blurry.  It's hard to tell what you can get away with in this mid-section.  It's where most of the nasty little habits exist, but where you haven't yet decided if you've crossed the line out of selfishness to where you truly wish you didn't do them.  For these habits, you're still in the "I could quit, I just don't wanna" stage. 

  • Eating junk food.  I love junk food and I see no need to quit eating it.
  • Picking.  There are few things more satisfying than picking a scab, or a hangnail, or a nailpolish chip and I have no intention of trying to stop.
  • Making no effort whatsoever to plan dinner before the time at which I would like to eat it. I like the spontaneity of my meals, and until I have hungry children waiting for food, I will keep doing this.
If you really care about any of these, do something about it.  If not, let it go.

Finally, all your least-defensible habits live on the weaker end of the Habit Scale. What makes them the least defensible?  Well, if they make you a hypocrite, I'd say that's the number one tell-tale sign.  Or, more generally, if you feel like shit about yourself. 

  • Like being late. I think being late is so rude, and yet I am always running a least a few minutes behind schedule.  Not because I want to, just because I can't seem to help it. I don't even have a good excuse. 
  • Spending money I don't have.  I've gotten really good at this lately, and I assume I'll get even better on our trip to New Orleans next week. 
It's harder to argue that you shouldn't stop doing something if it annoys even you.  These ones, you should try to work on. If you feel like it. Probably.

I hope you've learned something here today.  I've prepared a diagram of the Habit Scale, for future reference.  Please consult it regularly to determine what you actually have to change about yourself.  I think you'll find it's very little. 


  1. I love the graph! I too have a tough time in the morning. I'll get out of bed, but then I walk around in a hilarious and/or annoying stupor for the next hour. And this is if I've had my requisite 2 cups of morning coffee.

  2. I'm such a terrible picker! And holding babies all day long doesn't help. It's the worst it's been since I was in school... LB

  3. I honestly miss the days where my depression kept my arse in bed. Only thing now with kids it doesn't work because they'd kill themselves or burn my house down. After they spend 1.5hrs jumping on me and telling me they are starving that is. I have actually gotten better at jumping out of bed at a moments notice. funny how children are sudden instant motivators. (I never did say I was fully awake and functional mind you)

    On that note, with this many kids I am never on time for anything and it drives me nuts as I used to be 10min early for everything.

  4. I totally like to pick my fingernails. And I see people watching me sometimes and I just look at them like, "What? What?!?" and I just keep on picking. Clearly it's a well established habit and I have no intention of breaking it.

  5. I like that you gave this so much thought and made it all science-y with the graph. It seems the only two habits you should definitely break...smoking crack and bank robbing...you don't even have. So, I think you're doing very well.

    I didn't know you're going to New Orleans next week! I'm so jealous! But, I hope you'll have a great time and spend lots of money you don't have. Let me know when you need my address to mail my presents.

  6. Fist off have fun in New Orleans.... Second and most important your habits sound fun... I love sleeping in and spending money I dont have... Can I come with you on your next spending non-existant money trip because I totaly have an idea about Monoply money that might fool the blondes at Target

  7. ahhh picking.. I can't seem to stop... I do it without even realizing I'm doing it.

  8. Ang - Hilarious and/or annoying. Ha!

    LB - Just wear mitts or something. ;)

    LACE - Someone said teh same thing to be yesterday - that my ability to jump out of bed will improve with kids. But then I remember my mom who slept in all the time, and I'm not so sure.

    Lizbeth - Just keep on pickin! Yes! Me too.

    jacqui - It *is* sciencey. But I think you're right about the crack and bankrobbing. Which is good. I'll keep your presents here so you can come up to get them!

    Dogedog - Sure! Come along.

    Chemgirl - Exactly!