I have baggage around the idea of habits. “Creatures of habit” are boring, are they not? They’re the ones who make good marks for con men and assassins in the movies because they’re predictable.
Personally, I like to keep my would-be assassins guessing.
Of course, I don’t live in a movie and nothing so exciting is likely to come my way– not unless I lay the groundwork for exciting things to happen. So, although habits do not appeal to me emotionally, I know rationally they carry tremendous power. Some might say habits have all the power.
1. Habits Build Virtuous Circles
Like all animals, we humans can be conditioned; we learn to generate certain outcomes reliably and receive a reward. Over time, habits become so routine, they are literally painful to stop.
2. Habits Preserve Willpower
Willpower is finite. Good habits help you make fewer decisions throughout the day so your strength is preserved for the hard stuff.
3. Habits Reduce Waste
If you don’t have a plan for your time, your time will be filled by whatever shinier or noisier thing gets your attention (e.g., Facebook, someone else’s priorities, etc.).
4. Habits Make Space for Creativity
Habits help you free up time and energy for tackling your “highest and best use.” Whether that’s by checking off burdensome tasks, or putting creativity first, habits make it happen.
5. Habits Make Missions Possible
The greatest achievements of human kind all required work. Day in, day out. Inspiration, yes, but lots more predictable, reliable work.