On Habits


I’m currently reading – and enjoying – Gretchen Rubin’s book, Better Than Before (BTB), so of course I’m thinking about habits. I guess I sort of abandoned my 52 Changes experiment – not purposefully, just through lack of attention, but that does imply that it wasn’t entirely working for me. I think once I got to 7+ ‘dailies’ it got a little much… what a surprise! 😉

One of the thoughts I’d had (and blog posts I intended to make!) was about a ‘Hierarchy of Habits’, based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (no learning is ever truly wasted, right?!). So, there’d be a set of core habits that would help with all the rest, and in terms of my daily progress, it would be most important to hit those ones first. Then I could add ‘tiers’ – say, writing – that would be slightly less important to stick to if I got to the end of a day exhausted, for instance.

In BTB I discovered the Foundation Habits suggestion – four areas where forming habits would make everything else easier. Great minds! 😉 I also love the areas she highlights, and they do correspond to ones I reached for first instinctively: sleep, move, eating/drinking better, and uncluttering. The latter might seem less obvious, but totally works for me: it’s about your environment, and by taking control of one small area you get a sense you can do more.

I’d give the book a recommendation. I’m still reading it, and taking notes, but I’ve still to process how I’m going to apply this to my life. It’s more a discussion on habits and suggested tools for developing them, rather than any kind of actual system. The key takeaway seems to be: know yourself, and figure out what works for you – here are some suggestions.

That was probably the aim of 52 Changes, too: an experiment, see what does(n’t) work for you.

For actual practical getting-on-with-something, I’ve joined the site HabitRPG – all about ‘gamifying’ life, ie setting up tasks/habits/daily activities and giving yourself points when you do them. That sort of thing appeals to me!

And for habits, well: I’m back where I started – sleep! The first habit I want to hit is getting more/better sleep. To do this, my intention is to start heading for bed nice and early (~9pm) giving myself plenty of time to read and get the light out earlier than currently. As someone once said, more or less, the worst thing that can happen if we get more sleep is that we become better human beings!


2 responses »

  1. I’m reading the same book. I bought it two months ago, but I didn’t read it all in one go, so once I’m finished, I’m going to go back and start again. I also need to work on my sleep – I worry about everything, and I’m not sleeping well at all, but I’ve always had issues with sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This book sounds interesting, I’ll have to check it out. You should totallyget back to work on your 52 but maybe take each one a month at a time 🙂


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