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The common myth is that it takes 21 days to form a habit.

Reality is that it takes a minimum of 21 days and in some instances could take 50 or 500 days to make something a positive staple in our life. However, the negative habits can grow like weeds.

Habit is defined as a routine of behavior that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously.

Good habits such as drinking a certain amount of water everyday or exercising can be tough to make commonplace. Bad habits can sometimes come very quickly and without notice. The crazy part is that good habits can be very easy to lose and bad habits are often very complicated to change.

The original quote comes from Edgar Rice Burroughs in the book “The Beasts of Tarzan” where he wrote, “We are, all of us, creatures of habit, and when the seeming necessity for schooling ourselves in new ways ceases to exist, we fall naturally and easily into the manner and customs which long usage has implanted ineradicably within us.”

In other words, if we’re not forming and practicing good habits, then we are falling into bad habits with little resistance.

It’s imperative to always be learning new things and putting forth effort to broaden our horizons.

Now that school is out for all the kids, it is a very significant time for them to maintain the routine and patterns that they have been accustomed to doing or they could very possibly allow them to fall by the wayside. The saying that idle minds are the devil’s playground could never be more true. Staying active is necessary.

There’s not a single good coach out there who doesn’t want their players to continue practicing, working out or going through the fundamental drills that helped them progress during the school year.

Perhaps the easiest thing that kids and adults alike are able to fall prey to, is laziness. Sometimes taking a day off here and there or a lackadaisical attitude can trigger a string of events which can quickly create a bad habit.

Kids have lots of options this summer. Participating in any of them is a step in the right direction.

I’ll never forget the summers after my fourth- and fifth-grade year. I was dropped off at the Youth Center every morning where I would play basketball until the middle of the day and then go swimming every afternoon. Summer camps, basketball camps and a week with my grandparents would interfere, but I learned a lot over those couple of summers due to the repetition of being active.

There is a lot more for kids to do nowadays than there was when I was a skinny youngster.

It was good to see all the youth that participated in the Brandon Burlsworth Football Camp last week.

The North Arkansas College Basketball Camp begins next week for second- and third-graders and there are more camps going on at Goblin Arena in early July. Soccer camps are popping up after that and there are many other organized events taking place during the summer for the youth.

Church camps are in full swing and those can be priceless for anyone.

We live in a great area that promotes sports and encourages people to get out and enjoy the Ozarks that we have been blessed with. Rivers, creeks and lakes are easily accessible for us and are just a short drive away.

Once I entered my teenage years I fell prey to the saying, “There’s nothing to do in this town!”

Now I realize that was a bunch of hogwash.

Rodney Beaver is a sports writer with the Harrison Daily Times. E-mail him at rodneyb@harrisondaily.com or follow him at twitter.com/rodneybeaver .

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