What You Don’t Know about Habits!

This post is a part of two-part post on habits and what I learned about them in the month of January 2014 – The Month of Habits.

January is usually a month that is famous for New Year resolutions. On the flip side, it is also notorious for breaking resolutions as well. Usually, my January would be no different. I write down a bunch of resolutions and break almost all of them in less than 15 days. But this time I was determined to not have New Years resolution at all. Instead, I wanted to focus on Habits.

There are too many things I discovered about habits, myself and how to form one. To benefit those interested in this quest, I present to you a 3-part post on habit. In this post I will talk about things that we usually overlook when it comes to habit.

Biggest Myths about Habits.

  1. Habit is not a goal: For a really long time, for me habit was a goal. Be it cycling or learning Spanish. I wanted to learn for 2 hours everyday for 21 days. I did do them. But on 21’st day I was too elated to have “completed” the habit, that I never continued on 22nd, 23rd or 24th day. Goals need to be completed. Habits are never complete, it is continuous process.
  2. Habit is not physical:Most of what has got to do with Habit and Habit formation is not physical. It’s mental, to be exact it runs in the sub-conscious part of our brain. Right from the need to snooze the alarm to reaching out to grab one more chocolate. Habit is all those unconscious decisions we make that impact our lives.
  3. Habit is about setting a support system: Habit is easily misunderstood as an individual element. But, most of the habits are part of a whole. They build the support system that helps you reach mastery. For example, meditation itself is not a goal, but it puts things into perception.Creating that environment where we can build mastery.
  4. Habit is constantly changing: Habit is constantly changing, because the support system is different for different activities. Based on how we are wired, writing 30 minutes every morning to become a great blogger need not be same for a budding novelist who is at his creative peek in the night.
  5. Habit reveals a lot about your inner-engineering: Habits reveals a lot about what ticks you and what doesn’t. For example, some are early risers, some burn the midnight oil and both of them could be excellent artists. But, both of them are very different in terms of what ticks them. For a early riser, creativity might happen in a quite place. Habits explain a lot of surprising things about you. For example I found out that no matter how hard I try 2-4PM is my least creative time of the day. Meaning, to be more productive I would shift my creative period to some other time.

Habit governs a lot of things and getting an insight into our habits – both conscious and subconscious gives us a lot of opportunities to do best work in the time we have on earth.

In the next post, I will talk about what habits are made of.


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