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Have unscathed fingers for a month

Of the tasks entered on my 101-in-1001 list, few have required so many attempts and so many failures as this one. Even though everybody has bad habits of their own, I think there are enough similarities to enable you to understand my situation. So, in what ingenious way do I damage my fingers? Some people bite their nails, but I have taken a fancy to simply tearing them to pieces. Even though that was a slight exaggeration, this habit is not very good and has made me shed blood occasionally.

It is very difficult to change behaviour like this, because it has to be done relentlessly and over time. After a while, I gained enough consciousness of the problem to be able to notice when I did it. Then, I managed to learn to intentionally stop, which was much more difficult than I expected. So far so good, but since I wanted to remove this habit altogether, one important thing remained, namely doing it over time. I had decided that one month would be enough. If I could manage a month, a year or a lifetime would not be a problem.

The tricky bit is that I still do this unconsciously, mostly in situations of great stress or when my focus is somewhere else than my own ten fingers (which is, believe it or not, fairly often). Only when it is too late do I realise that I have to restart the clock and begin the month all over again. I think I have done this at least twenty times. Gradually, however, I have been able to notice when this occurs, because I know so well in which situation the behaviour appears. Now, I can proudly announce that my fingers have been unscathed for a month. This might seem like a minuscule step for mankind, but it is in fact quite a big step for me personally.

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