Dec 14, 2020

Be mindful of your habits

 We are creatures of habit. The older we get, the more we run on autopilot. We stick to the habits even more strongly. We are reluctant to change. We have heard of this saying, "Old habits die hard". As I observe my dad and my in-laws, I have realized how true this is!

It is extremely imperative that we follow the right habits starting from our young age. Even if we have missed this phase, we still have time to correct our ways for a few more decades. Of course, if we adopt a growth mindset, change is possible at any time. But as we grow older, habits on autopilot are more convenient to follow than taking a conscious step towards change.

If you are in your 30s and 40s, keenly observe how you go about your daily routine. 

From the time you wake up till you go to bed, what are the habits you do on autopilot? For eg, after I brush my teeth, I head to the kitchen, open the fridge, and take a pack of milk. Now if I need to break my daily habit of the morning cup of tea, I need to break this autopilot habit.

Observe all your habits for at least a week, without any judgment or self-criticism. Don't compare with anyone. Note down your habits in a journal. 

Use the below indicators to classify them

  • Mark an upward arrow if this habit elevates or improves the quality of your life
  • Mark a downward arrow if this habit brings down the quality of your life
  • Mark a question mark if you are unsure about where a particular habit might take you

Gaining this awareness in itself is a huge improvement from where you are today. 

As the priorities of life keep pushing us in different directions, we have imbibed many habits without much thought. This exercise will help us in becoming more aware of our daily habits.

As we enter the New Year, let's adopt this mindset - "Habits, not resolutions".

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