Can you imagine a world where every morning when you woke you had think about and weigh up your options about what to do first, second, third and so on. Do you go into the bath-room, get dressed or go into the kitchen?
If you go into the bathroom do you clean your teeth, have a wash, have a shower, go to the toilet, fix your hair first, what next? This is what life would be like every day without habits, they’re essential to the normal functioning of us as homo-sapiens.
Creatures of Habit
Another thing about habits is they are so automatic that most of the time when going through the motions you can’t remember what you did. Like going to work or the shops, can you re-member the journey? I doubt it.
As you’ve done it so many times, you’ll often confuse events from today’s journey with the many that have gone by.
Habits aren’t all good though, you should be careful. Take the journey you took above, a journey that you’ve done hundreds maybe thousands of times. When you first took the journey, it may have been the best most efficient way to reach your destination, but things change.
A new road could have been built, a factory that employs a few thousand workers could have opened increasing the congestion on your route to name but a few things that could affect your journey.
It could become the most inefficient way to reach your destination, but you continue down the same road every day out of habit, never considering there could now be a better way.
Reflecting on your daily routines can help you improve your life in several ways. It can help with planning and prioritising tasks, whether you’re a project manager or a homemaker it doesn’t matter. We all have things that need doing and breaking the routine can make completing these things much quicker.
It can help you to identify any obstacles you may be facing that you didn’t even know you had. Procrastination and anxiety are often reduced by freeing up time wasted on inefficient routines.
Everybody has the tools available to adopt a reflective attitude. All you really need is a pen and paper to jot down your routines and analyse them but doing this activity just once will only reap the reward once.
For this to be life changing it needs to be made into a habit. Yes, that right, you need to make a habit of breaking habits.
To help with this I would suggest you purchase a journal or keep one online if that’s your chosen medium. Write regular entries in your journal, preferably daily at first, this is the way to create a habit.
For every entry focus on one event or issue, think about how you could improve it or resolve the issue, use questions like ‘what could I do start doing, stop doing, continue doing to improve the situation’.
Be creative, use mind mapping, sketches, flow diagrams or cartoons and add colour to make it more engaging and memorable.
Once you have over ten entries use a reflective session to review everything and look for themes. This type of thinking makes connections that you otherwise wouldn’t make when ad-dressing each issue individually and it gets the creative juices flowing.
30 Day Challenge
You should try this for at least 30 days, any less and you’re cheating yourself out of something that could considerably improve the quality of your life. Just tackling a couple of issues and never doing it again is a complete waste of a tool for self-improvement.