Breaking a habit.
The time it takes to break a habit really depends on the person and habit. But there are 3 factors that are worth taking into consideration when deciding to quit.- Replacement.
– Replacement. It’s easier to replace your habit with something new so that it actually overwrites the old one.
-Motivation. Why you are quitting – is it because you want to or because you are pushed by some external factor?
-Mental ability. Some people have addictive or obsessive personality types that might make breaking a habit much harder to do.
Breaking a habit means that you break the link between the behavior and the reward it provides to you.
For me, as I wasn’t really a heavy user – was using around 1-2 cups of coffee every day. The process wasn’t that hard.
First days are hard.
My body was demanding caffeine. In the mornings I was on auto pilot- first thing I was doing, going to the coffee machine and pour a cup if there wasn’t one ready for me.
You can read about my first days in a previous article here.
But the important thing is to make an effort. Every time you make an effort to break the habit, you’re laying down a new groove in your mind.*
I started getting used to the idea that I’m not drinking coffee and starting to replace it with a glass of water first thing in the morning and with lots of tea.
It’s much easier to start doing something new than to stop doing something habitual without a replacement behavior.
Thus my Tea consumption went from 1-2 cups a week to at least a 1 cup a day.
People who want to kick their habit for reasons that are aligned with their personal values will change their behavior faster than people who are doing it for external reasons such as pressure from others
I wanted to test if what I heard/ read about quitting coffee was true. If it really did help me function better across the day. If it helped me focus on the long term and in general feel healthier. If you can read here all the benefits of quitting coffee.
Found it’s true to some extent.
There was no peer pressure to do it.
After 2 weeks I didn’t have the urge to drink coffee anymore – downside was when going out. What do you order when going out with friends for a “coffee” and you don’t drink coffee? Juice? Tea? Lemonade? Fresh? Milkshake? … All of the above ;).
Feel free to experiment. You’ll find new tastes I found by doing this little experiment some great tea.
At the end of those 30+ days I had to ask myself- do I really want to quit coffee for good?
As you probably guessed; the answer is no!
Coffee, in the right dose, is actually helpful so why quit it for good? Therefore, I’m back.
But I learned from this experiment. It has helped me learn more about myself, about the effects that caffeine has on my body and how to achieve the best results out of it.
I rediscovered my love for Black Tea and Tea in general.
I’m actually drinking a “Tazo Chai Tea Latte” as I write this article instead of my usual Shots of Expresso from Starbucks. The tea is just amazing – worth trying out.
In the end, I must say:
It feels darn good to feel in control and know that drinking coffee is a choice and not a need.
If you decided to quit as well coffee for good or for a period of time I’d be curious to see your motivation and what you learned from it.
* – Article used for the research on breaking habits.