I’m beginning this on the first day of 2014. It’s a day when many people will be starting periods of stricture, cutting out bad habits, squeezing down their time spent to make space for something else. We’re told often that New Year’s resolutions fail much more than they succeed, and that seems likely. If it’s doing less of something, or doing more of something, there are usually more effective ways to force a habit than going all out from the start of the year.
When it comes to stopping, to cutting things out, New Year’s resolutions tend not to be necessary for me. I’ve come to realise that over the last 3-4 years (and, realistically, going much farther back) I’ve given up a string of things, most of them things which formed at least some significant part of my life. Things like following football, using twitter, even eating to some extent. In every case these were activities I enjoyed, but which I came to realise, or at least to persuade myself, had become detrimental to me in some way. So they went.
It hadn’t really occurred to me that there was a pattern to this (and perhaps there isn’t) until a colleague described it as a ‘personality disorder’ and set me thinking. Is there something else going on here?
I don’t know, but over the next week or so I’m going to write about some of the things I’ve stopped during the last couple of years and see if anything suggests itself.
You might want to give up reading now.