What do your habits add up to?
I’ve been talking a lot about building habits lately. In one sense it is one of the easiest things out there: pick the thing you’d like to make into a habit then do it, consistently.
Yet forming helpful habits (or breaking unhelpful ones) can be one of the most difficult things to do.
We have such inertia in our current existence. So much of what we do happens automatically, our brain doesn’t even really register it, let alone give us the time and space to interrupt it. It’s the same reason we can drive somewhere and remember nothing about the journey, or eat an entire box of Cadbury’s chocolate fingers without noticing. Maybe that last one is just me?
Equally, despite on some level wanting a quiet, peaceful existence, we resist habits and tend to unconsciously seek out or create drama. We leave things to the last minute through disorganisation or perhaps impostor syndrome. We say yes to things we don’t have time for through obligation. Or say no to great opportunities as we get scared. We avoid making decisions and stew over them, or make them then spend time wondering if it was the “right” one. All are forms of drama that we invite, unconsciously, into our lives and which also make forming healthy habits harder. All of it is resisting “normal”.
And why? Because on some level normal is boring. Doing the small things consistently isn’t particularly exciting. Even if deep down we know it will get results.
Listening to James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, recently on Brene Brown’s podcast (highly recommended by the way), he notes that “Your current habits are perfectly designed to give you your current results.”
Ouch. That one hurt.
All the things I resist, the habits I don’t try and build, or the ones I give up on are the ones that are stopping me getting the results I really want. In one sense there’s nothing wrong. My current habits got me where I am today. But what got me here won’t get me there. So it is time to work on some new habits, and focus on making them normal.
Because when they are totally normal, as normal as brushing my teeth every day, then they become sustainable. Then they will deliver the results I want to get as opposed to the ones I’m currently getting.
Be honest with yourself. What do your current habits add up to? Where do you choose drama? And what might be possible if you embraced normal, in the form of some new habits?
One of the habits I’m working on creating is to write more. A lot more. So twice a week I’m going to be writing and posting a blog. NSNK. I want writing to be normal, content creation to be normal, being creative in my thinking to be normal. It’ll hopefully help me get a lot better at it too. Watch this space…