I’m writing this post because lately, I’ve been losing everything. I guess the correct word would be “misplacing,” but honestly, that feels like a friendly euphemism. It started with my phone about a month ago. Then, I misplaced my prescription glasses when I was packing up my camping bag. THEN, I lost an important necklace. And the real kicker — I thought I had lost a mini wallet which contained some cash, a debit card, and my ID. So regardless of the fact that all of these items turned up, where the heck was my responsibility? And my head at, for that matter? This gut-wrenching series of events (no sleep, chest pains from anxiety, thinking I was going to throw up — it was not pretty) got me thinking about the power of habit. I’ve outlined 4 points below on how important habits can be:
1. Problem: I Loose Thing…Solution: I Should Find One Spot and Put Said Thing There Every. Single. Time.
If I had found one spot where I put each item back every time, then I would have repeated the action enough times where it would have become a habit. That means, even if I was distracted on my phone or my awareness wasn’t sharp at that particular moment, I would have mindlessly put it back into my “one place” and it would have never been lost. My items would have been exactly where they were supposed to be — their one designated place. (Note: I’m thinking this place should be in an uncluttered, free, secluded area (like a drawer, trinket dish, etc.) to maximize its effectiveness.)
2. Habits Can Lead to Healthier Lives
The first thing that pops into my mind when I think of habits is physical health: Wear sunscreen everyday. Brush and floss your teeth. Exercise. Eat mindfully. Take off your make-up every night. The list can go on and on and on. As I’ve gotten a little older, I’ve started to take this more to heart. There’s always room for improvement, but I make these (and more) items a priority. It’s easy to dismiss the future because it’s “far away,” but the truth is that problems are often not as far away as we think. Getting in the habit now can boost our health, happiness, AND quality of life. Definitely a win-win-win.
3. The Brain is Meant to Make Our Lives Simpler
We’re wired to form habits (ever heard the term, “creature of habits”?), and we naturally like to stick to routines. I personally think it would be exhausting to have to think through every single thing on my daily list — I mean, in that situation, it would be a miracle if I didn’t forget something! Habits have made it possible for me to sleepily get ready in the morning (completely dreary-eyed, barely surviving on coffee). I guess that’s to say, if you want to make things easier, form a habit of doing something. Clean out your email inbox daily until you don’t think twice about it. Go for a walk around the block after dinner until it’s second nature. Read a few pages of a novel until you’ve trained yourself to fall asleep only after you’ve read a little. Habits integrate these activities into our lives!
4. Bottomline: Habits Stick
Did you know it takes roughly 66 days to form a habit, and 21 days to break it? Neither did I, until I looked it up about 2 minutes ago. When formed, habits tick. There’s a reason it’s hard to break a “bad habit.” So forming good ones is like a super power — things you practice on the daily can save you a lot of unnecessary trouble, anxiety, and stress along the way. That sounds pretty swell to me. 🙂
Do you have thoughts on habits? Or a habit you recommend forming? Comment below!