I am a creature of habit. To clarify: I am a creature of both good habits and bad habits.
I am not sure if that is even really worth saying because you probably are too. Isn’t everyone? Whether it’s drinking soda, exercising, smoking, consuming sugar, or recycling, aren’t most people walking, talking conglomerations of habits that we are actively trying to encourage, manage, or supress?
From what I’ve learned over the past couple of years, self-awareness is the ultimate key to habit change. Getting some space from your reactive, autopilot self, the space to stop and say “What in the world am I even doing?,” is what we need to objectively observe our habits and decide if they serve us or hold us back.
In some circumstances, some of us appreciate a little external motivation when it comes to our habit change. The New Year presents a chance for reflection. We’ve all made and broken resolutions throughout the years and I’ve tended to lose faith in the concept having failed so many times myself. But every now and then, a resolution will stick. Maybe it’s when you’ve chosen the right resolution at the right time and you know in your gut you’re in the right place in your life to make it work. Sometimes, it just clicks. Gretchen Rubin, a habit change researcher, puts it this way, “January 1st doesn’t hold any special magic… unless it does for you.”
Really, whether or not you’re a new year’s resolution sort of person or not, you have to admit that the concept is on your mind right now because it’s everywhere: it’s inescapable. Why not use this time to explore the concept of habit change as it pertains to recycling or really any other habit you’re trying to pick up or correct? I’ll be following up with this topic as the year progresses and we’ll discuss how to assess our habits in a way that will ultimately make us more likely to succeed.
I want to be a little better in 2018. That awareness is step one. Now is the time to resolve to explore what’s next.