“Habit is necessary; it is the habit of having habits, of turning a trail into a rut, that must be incessantly fought against if one is to remain alive.”
— Edith Wharton, A Backward Glance
I have to continually remind myself that habits are necessary and helpful in keeping structure and days running smoothly. Supporting our ability to be able to start and finish activities in our daily life.
But the challenge is to recognize when YOUR habits turn from a trail into a rut. When you become so entrenched in them, that you are unable to adjust. They become rigid and no longer serve you and your best interest.
Look at your habits and traditions. Now assess the beliefs and values that accompany them. Be honest as to whether they are truly serving you. Look at the pattern that happens to surround that habit.
Habits are necessary and helpful until they are not!
One example from my life is cleaning. I love a clean house! Seems harmless, right? Well, growing up we would clean on Saturday mornings. So naturally, I carried my love of cleaning into my adult relationship. But I also carried my timeline. But the habit of getting up and cleaning on Saturdays was not the habit my husband wanted to adopt. Rather than adjust, I just got angry.
I would stomp around and shout, “it has to get done.” The reality was it did not have to get done on Saturday mornings. Yet, I was so entrenched in that habit that I was willing to start my weekend (and my husband’s weekend) off on the wrong foot.
When I really stopped and evaluated where this was coming from, I realized I had a long-standing belief of “work before play.”
Once I could see this, I was able to recognize that nothing about my lack of adaptability was serving me.
At that time, I realized I had three options:
- I could continue to force the subject and spend every Saturday fighting with Josh.
- I could have continued with my habit of Saturday cleaning by myself. Recognizing that my timeline is not my husband’s and I don’t get to control him.
- I could adjust, try different times and have my husband’s help
All of them end with a clean house, but one seemed by far the most appealing.
So now it’s your turn. Where are your habits no longer serving you? Want help looks at your habits, let’s chat!