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Habits Journal Random Thought Thoughts

Loving Coffee Again

I started drinking coffee in August. I had a coffee everyday except Tuesdays.

It took a lot of mental energy to continue not drinking coffee. I missed the routine more than caffeine. And I couldn’t find a substitute routine. I tried very hard. I wasted more than fair share of my day’s cognitive budget on just deciding whether to have coffee. How silly is that! So I told myself this struggle is not worth it. I am now back to sipping coffee every workday except Tuesday – I fast till evening on Tuesdays. However, this is not the only reason I took the U-turn.

I did not go looking, but all the following posts came my way. Two of them appeared on my twitter feed. The other two were written by the people I admire.

Moderate doses of caffeine is exactly what I drink, as mentioned in Reaching Peak Productivity Is Easy (5 Simple Strategies) :

Our mind and our bodies are intertwined and Davis encourages us to focus as much on our physical health as our mental health. He recommends the usual: stay hydrated, eat smaller meals more often, moderate doses of caffeine and moderate exercise.

“Do keep drinking coffee”, suggests this post titled 11 Morning Habits That Will Change Your Life (And Make You More Creative), among other useful tips. It elaborates:

Caffeine makes us more alert, yes, but perhaps more importantly, it also increases our brain’s production of dopamine, which gives us a feeling of reward and motivation when we start having good ideas. Making it a habit to grab a morning latte in the morning adds structure to a morning and helps create the aforementioned windows of creativity.

Structure is what my coffee break adds to my morning.

Jeff Finley, who coached me on how to wake up early, wrote a great post on why he started drinking coffee. I can relate to some of the thoughts he shared.

Lastly, Jeremy DuVall advises on CNN:

Don’t forget caffeine. Coffee lovers rejoice! It turns out that cup of java may give you more than just an energy boost midday. When researchers gave subjects coffee and then measured their caloric burn, they found that the caffeinated individuals burned more calories than their decaf-ordering counterparts.

I am sure there will be heaps of material on the internet explaining at great length on why coffee is bad. But the above information is from the people I admire and sources I trust. So it is valuable to me. I experienced some of it first hand.

That’s the end of my coffee chronicles. I certainly learned a lot from this experience. Not hesitating to retract from opinions, being the foremost lesson.

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Habits

Quitting Coffee Struggles

As much as I would love to think that I am not a coffee addict, it looks like I am on the verge of giving up on my attempt to quit coffee.

Since deciding to quit coffee in the last week of April, I drank one cup in May, two in June and two so far in July. In a way I did very well. I cut not only the number of cups and but also their size.

However it is proving difficult to sustain this habit, especially under stress. The few cups that I had are in the clueless moments when I just needed to turn my mind away from the problem I am working on.

I know that progress, not perfection, matters. And what I do everyday matters more than what I do once in a while. In that sense I am already winning. But I must admit that it isn’t easy. I am fine without coffee most of the days but I am also struggling a lot when I am under pressure. So I wonder if it is really worth the struggle. What if I start drinking a tiny sized cup or a black coffee a few days a week. May be drinking coffee is alright if it helps relieve my stress? Why am I even making a big deal out of this? Why can’t I just drink a cup a day and spare myself of this suffering?

Now that I dumped my brain, I feel better and clear: I am not giving up. At least as yet. Why should I make my temporary failures permanent.

I reiterate to myself: I can still drink coffee but mindfully and occasionally, not compulsively.

If you had used any strategies to deal with a similar situation, I will be grateful if you could share it in the comment.

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Habits

Quitting coffee

I did pretty well last month learning to stop drinking coffee.

I had only one small coffee in all of May. This is a significant slash given I was having one coffee every workday.

It wasn’t too difficult to give up coffee, partly because I am not a coffee addict. But I had few urges. Once I even walked halfway to the coffee machine but recalled my claim and returned.

I also found a great post -guess Universe conspired to help me- on my twitter feed titled Everything You Need To Know About How and Why To Quit Caffeine which helped a bit.

I will still drink coffee but mindfully and occasionally, not compulsively.

While all this is good, I am having challenges sticking to the larger goal of which this is only a part. That’s for another post.

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Learn

Learning to stop drinking coffee

After about two years of learning to make and drinking coffee, today is the first day to stop that habit.

As a first step, I left my coffee mug at home last night.

I would love to drink coffee but it is better I stop needing it every weekday.