Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Thoughts on Habits

I recently finished Gretchen Rubin's book on habits - Better Than Before. It has had quite an impact on my life already and is a very interesting book, so I'd definitely recommend it.

Thanks to this book, I'm currently using an UP band to track my steps and sleep so that I am informed and therefore more able to make positive changes. I've also started getting up much earlier (I won't claim to be a lark just yet, but so far, so good).

I'll probably discuss those changes in a later blog post as I have a lot to say about them! But because this book really resonated with me I wanted to write about it, and habits, in general.

"Habits make change possible by freeing us from decision making and from using self-control."- Gretchen Rubin, Better Than Before
I haven't ever really thought about my habits so it was quite interesting to begin observing them and adding new ones.

My favourite thing that I realised about habits though is that they're very lack of creativity creates more room for it. I very much agree with what Rubin says above - that they free you from decision making - and that for me is really important.

Now that I work 9-5 my creative time is limited and I don't want it to be eaten up with thinking about whether or not to run, what route to take or what to have for breakfast. I take a great deal of comfort in having some routines to my day that I don't have to think about.

There are some things in life that are important in that they're good for you - sleep, exercise, diet - but there are other things that are important because they're important to you. For me, that's knitting, reading, writing this blog and spending quality time with my family, friends and Rich.

I'm working making the good-for-me things automatic - a regular bedtime and getting up time, a regular exercise routine and a thoughtless focus on the good stuff when food shopping. This way I don't waste time being tired or grumpy, or arguing with myself about whether today is a running day or if I should eat the sweets in the fridge.

It feels incredibly freeing to simply remove those things so that space opens up for the things that are Important To Me. This is an ongoing process at the moment, I'm still working on the bedtime thing and on maintaining my weekday wake up time throughout the weekend for example. But already, the small steps I've taken feel good and that is what keeps me moving forward.

Have you read Better Than Before? What did you think of it?

1 comment:

  1. I am a big fan of Gretchen Rubin and her habits book. I have developed the habit of meal prep that saves me so much time. I plan and prep my breakfast and lunch as I am making dinner so that I can have a bit of time to read or write before leaving for work. And knowing the dinner plan gives me time to go for a run after work. The front load was tough but I am on a roll now.