“The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.”
― Samuel Johnson
I recently realised I’m crap at creating habits.
I have created many positive habits over the years, or so I thought until a short time ago I reluctantly faced the truth.
My six o clock rising has become seven or seven thirty depending on how late I went to bed.
My morning meditation ebbs and flows like the tides.
My daily exercise has become twice weekly tennis games.
What’s gone wrong, again?
I could blame it on the writing deadlines over the summer, or perhaps the holidays or better yet the copious amounts of family parties we had over the summer months.
Or did I just get lazy?
I have many questions that I don’t have an answer to when it comes to habits;
- Maybe I ask too much of myself?
- Is my personality type just not meant for routine or habit?
- Do I really trust in my ability to create new habits?
Do I ask too much of myself?
I’ve fallen off the wagon again, my good habits gone by the wayside. This is a typical pattern for me, I don’t know about you but I create a new habit and do it successfully for a number of weeks or months and then something happens to throw me off track and I find it very difficult to begin again. Is it because I push myself too hard or expect too much? I don’t think so. I think we are capable of so much more than we realise and in that context I’m not pushing myself nearly far enough.
It may be difficult to tell how much is enough and when you have crossed the line but in my experience you instinctively know when you are pushing the boundaries. There are times that one habit can enable other habits, getting up early is an enabler for meditation or morning exercise, so by focusing on one habit the other habits naturally flow.
Is my personality type just not meant for routine or habit?
For some routine comes naturally. These are the people who do the same thing everyday at the same time. My husband comes home from work each evening and goes straight to the kettle to fill it with water to make a cup of tea. In the morning he follows the same routine since the day I met him. I on the other hand rarely do the same thing twice. it’s not deliberate, it’s the way I roll. It’s like my brain is urging me to map a new route, do something different everyday. A mischievous Jiminy Cricket on my shoulder telling me not to put my bag down there, put it somewhere you won’t remember, why stick to routine and order when chaos is so much more fun. Yep that’s my natural state. I work hard to create systems and structure to help me create routine but it doesn’t come naturally. I wonder if people like me should approach habits from a different angel? I will let you know if I figure it out.
Do I really trust in my ability to create new habits?
Perhaps I don’t really believe I can be a Yogi that meditates daily, nor an early riser having been allergic to mornings most of my life but I know I want to be one. The times when I stick to my habits I feel good, content and accomplished so why do I self sabotage?
These are other questions I hope to explore over the next weeks and months. I intend to try out the current thinking on how to form habits and hopefully come up with answers that can help both me and you.
If you would like to join me on a habit challenge leave me a comment or drop me an email. Let me know what habit you are trying to create and how much it would mean to you to accomplish it. Maybe together we can become, healthier, fitter, more productive and happier. More on habits over the coming weeks…..stay tuned.