Have you ever heard the saying that humans are ‘creatures of habit’?

 

When I think of habits, my brain goes in two different directions. I think of routines–which consist of habits that are often put in place to help us. But I also think of habits that we get stuck in (the ones we don’t love), like picking up our phones and mindlessly scrolling through social media, or poor eating choices, etc.

 

I used to wonder why, even though we technically have the ability to do at least something different every day, we still choose to do the same things day after day. What I’ve learned is there’s comfort in certainty, there’s comfort in knowing how things are going to play out. But, like I talked about earlier, these patterns of behavior or habits can either work for us or against us. You can have a sleep hygiene routine that sets you up for your 8 hours and optimizes the restfulness of those 8 hours. Or you can have habits at night that do the exact opposite, like staying up late watching movies or TikToks.

 

For the purpose of this newsletter, I want to differentiate between the two using the following definition: We architect routines to help us thrive; we fall into habits because they’re comfortable. So, if you’re trying to find ways to optimize your experience and improve your emotional and physical wellbeing, for example, taking a look at your routines and habits is a good place to start.

 

We are definitely creatures of habit–but we’re not set up to automatically filter out the habits that aren’t so great for us. In fact, our hardwired desire for instant gratification can lead us to a lot of habits that don’t set us up for long term success. Ones that I think of in my own experience are: hitting the snooze button instead of waking up in the morning and scrolling through my phone (sometimes for hours). Both of these habits that have weaved their way into my daily experience are ones that have interfered with my wellness routines; I have to really remind myself at times why I don’t really want to engage in them.

What habits have you fallen into that aren’t helping you succeed in life? What routines could you establish in your day that will set you up to create and engage in more helpful habits?

– Coach Lauren

 

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