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?
Great post! While traditions are comforting, they do tend to stifle our creativity. Experiencing new things is a MUST in life! Having said that, I do like to start my day with a coffee and go to bed early. Almost every day.
I must be the 'anti' creature of habit. I have never done well with rigid routine. I much prefer to mix things up. Keeps it interesting.
It is a problem with exercise, but I do try to walk every day. I don't set aside a specific time, but I usually fit it in.
Interesting post! thanks.
I am a creature of habit on daily chores! However, I have my moments, often, to add a little excitment, change, fun, laughter, or beauty!
I'm like you. Coffee is a MUST, even on vacation, to start my day. Even in Belize!
As far as exercise, Barbara, that's a must for me first thing after coffee and e-mail, or I won't go to the gym.
Thanks for your visit and comment. Glad you get your daily chores done.
I am a creature of habit when it comes to coffee in the morning also and I usually go to bed close to the same time. On the other hand, I thrive on planning a new adventure and always like to have something planned to look forward to. I have no problem traveling alone and enjoy the planning part (but not the packing) for any trip.
Miss Footloose | Life in the Expat Lane says
Although I have certain things I do on a daily basis (coffee midmorning, tea in the afternoon)I don't consider myself a creature of habit. I move through my days going with the flow, more or less. I'm not good with a real structure, at least not for a long time. It bores me or it makes me feel "trapped."
I do laundry when I need to, not because it a particular day and I cook what I feel like or what I have on hand. I do sit in the same chair at the table, true.
I am sure I would be more efficient and get more done if I gave myself more structure and was more organized. Sometimes I even try do be that way, but I don't keep it up.
Needless to say, since I've always been a writer working at home, I had and have the freedom and luxury to arrange my days the way I please!
I remember your trip to Mexico where you said you hated packing. I much prefer packing for Mexico than Europe. Swimsuits and flip-flops and one sundress in Mexico.
I think we're similar in many ways, especially the getting bored or "trapped." Isn't that the ATCK syndrome?
Doctor Eclectic says
I particularly liked your four reasons for Good Habits. When I "retired" six years ago I decided that I would set some habits for structure: play golf and tennis, and do aerobics one day a week, cook dinner one night a week and most importantly have something in my mind when I went to bed that I was going to do the next day that I thought improtant. I'm a little behind in tennis, golf and aerobics, but ahead in cooking and the next-day's thought. It has made for a very productive and happy time in my life.
I had only one answer positive – question number 5-going to gym 5 days a week-so it isn;t that bad with me:) Good post!
I like your plan. Come back Thursday as I have a guest post from Satisfying Retirement you might want to read.
Thanks for your comment and exercising 5 days a week is a wonderful habit.
Elle B | Later Bloomer says
Hi Sonia, followed you here from In The Hotspot. Really relate to your reasons for going to Belize for a year — I'm a little north of you, in West Hollywood (gridlock capital of LA)!
Penelope J. says
I'm a creature of habit – or would like to be if my life wasn't being disrupted all the time by things beyond my control. Often, I'm forced to change my habits which is not good for either my work or my morale. I hate to make plans as all too often, other things come up or they don't work out. The three times that I carefully planned holidays, something went wrong. So it's better for me to be spontaneous, but I do envy those who make plans that work out.
Ideally, I'd love to plan an extended stay in England, six months to a year, and probably take advantage of something like the Vacation Rentals you mention. But that has to be as up in the air as the rest of my life.
Antares Cryptos says
I try to keep habits flexible, except for breakfast and coffee:) Very little starts without those.
I am to a certain extent. I love taco night at our house, we all do.
I'm new on VoiceBoks so I'm trying to meet others 🙂 I enjoyed my visit here.