Tuesday, October 7, 2008

It takes 28 Days to Form a Habit

It takes 28 Days to Form a Habit.

I lived by this Mantra for over a year, and it came back to me while I was brushing my teeth. "It takes 28 Days to Form a Habit." ...Here in Taiwan, I'm going on 35.

In this entirely new surrounding/culture/community/lifestyle, I wonder what habits I'm forming.

A few come to mind:
I say "Thank you" in Chinese with out thinking about it.
I say "Hello" in Chinese about 50% of the time.
I drink more tea than coffee
I don't drink soda
I enjoy walking (20 minutes) to the school
I'm starting to wake up earlier

There's also a few habits in the making:
I'm starting to go to bed earlier (it helps with the waking up part, I've found)
I remember to grab tissues to use in the public restroom before I get there
I'm figuring out a routine of when and where to take off my shoes in the house
I'm starting to not go back to sleep after I wake up early...

But I wonder what habits will come with out knowing.

I want to remember to form new and life-giving habits.

I haven't shared this picture yet, but now seems a good time. It's a picture I took in LuGang when I was there. It's called a half-well. And that is exactly what it is. In an older age, townsmen with money would build their wells on their property line so that they would have half the well inside their estate, and the other was open to the poor and the passerby. If water was such a valuable life source for these people, it seems that open access to their well sets their capacity for giving much higher than 10%.

I've already been blessed by the kindness and endless generosity of the people around me. The family who has welcomed me into their home, and their friends and neighbors around them. I hope to see my capacity for giving grow exponentially in the next year.

I was brushing my teeth again tonight, like I normally do. And once again, I was reminded of that mantra. I was reminded because I had told myself I would switch my teeth-brushing hand to help remind me, at the beginning of the day and the end, to focus on my habits.

I promptly switched hands.

It's beginning to dawn on me that it won't be easy work. But if I was to think anything in life is worthwhile work, this would be it.

Remembering what's been given to me,


laura v2 said...

I'm struck by how intentional you're living. It's very inspiring. Plus, this post is just amazingly well-structed. :)

Lisa VV said...

Wow, I love your insights. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

Alisoney said...

i think america's the only country that provides toilet paper in public bathrooms...

and when you and i both get back to the states we can sit around and drink tea together and go on walks. lol.