Before we get started, I’d like you to answer the following questions.
1) Do you plan the same meal every Monday night? Tuesday night? Wednesday? etc.
2) Do you go to bed at the same time?
3) Do you always try to get the same seat on the bus, in the movie theater, in church?
4) Do you stop at Starbucks, Peet’s, (name your coffee store) on your way to work every day?
5) Is there one thing you do every day and feel like it’s missing if you don’t?
If you answered “yes” to all five, you are probably a creatures of habit. So what is a creature of habit? The definition is: “one who is extremely used to their own habits and does not function well without them.”
The question is to what degree, and does it really matter?
Most of us thrive on routine which is why our bodies go on strike when we travel. You know what I mean. You’re tired, not used to foreign foods, your digestive system slows down, you feel out of sync with your body.
Four reasons why it’s great to be a creature of GOOD habits:
1). You provide structure and discipline to your life.
2). You get things done, even the mundane stuff.
3). You get results by being consistent.
4). You feel good about yourself and can spread this feeling to others.
But sometimes we become so used to routine that we rarely stop to question what we are doing. Just doing repetitive things everyday, without changing them or questioning why? can make us stagnate. You see our brain starts to rely too much on our unconscious behaviors preventing us from seeing all the choices available to us.
Why it’s important to take a few risks and become Gutsy.
Research shows that the brain “loves” novelty. It likes it when different neuro-transmitters are firing, not so much when the same pathways turn into ruts. We are meant to exercise our brain and see new things and experience different environments. As with most of life, we need to find balance. If we become too rigid, we find ourselves doing “this” every Monday, and “this” every Tuesday,
A few ideas to plan something new.
So why not plan a weekend trip away? Time to see new things, get your brain all fired up. If you say, “I can’t afford it?” then decide to do something completely out of the ordinary for you: a new hike, a new type of food for dinner.
For example, a friend of mine gave up her car for a month. She used her bike, the bus and trains. Now that’s a huge challenge in southern California, but she managed, and ended up losing weight, (which she wanted anyway.)
Or plan a trip abroad. So this costs even more, but here’s a wonderful thing to do either alone or with your spouse. Pick a country, city, island or any place you’ve always wanted to visit. Research it in detail. Pretend you’re going, even if you can’t afford it right now.
- What do you want to see there? (make a list)
- What do you want to do? (make a list) Visit museums? Hike? Scuba dive?
- How long will you stay?
- Will you travel around or stay put?
- Check out tours?
- Are you staying in a hotel or renting a place? Check out VRBO (Vacation rentals by owner, anywhere in the world.)
When our lives become predictable in too many areas, maybe it is time to give this “creature of habit” thing a rest!
It’s just as important to plan your dreams, as to make them into a reality.
Do you consider yourself a creature of habit? What about your significant other?