I’ve been told it takes 21 days to start a habit. Do the same thing for 21 consecutive days and you will soon be ‘in the habit.’ I’m not sure it takes me 21 days.
I go to a new restaurant and have great menu item. Boom! I’m hooked. I will likely return to that same restaurant and order that same item – for the rest of my life. I am a creature of habit. I follow daily routines and patterns. Most of us do. We brush our teeth – habitually. We bathe and exercise – habitually. We drive certain routes to work, school, and recreation – habitually. We shop at the same grocery stores and even follow the same path through the isles – habitually. Yet, here is the interesting thing.
Most of us have habits of one form or another because they work for us. We get what we want out of those habits – but how often do we evaluate our habits to determine if there is another, even better way, to accomplish our goals? Who Moved My Cheese, by Spencer Johnson, is one of my favorite books is about learning to deal with change as it interrupts (read demolishes) routine.
Habits bring order and in some measure comfort to our life. To a greater or lesser degree we all depend on the predictability of routine. Yet, we all need change, interruptions in the expected to continue to learn and grow.
Do habits, routine and daily discipline make up a large portion of your life? Do you get energized by a successfully executed routine or by the surprise of novelty?