How much do your habits impact on your day-to-day life?

I am currently reading a book titled The Power of HABIT by Charles Duhigg.  I am 100 pages in and already it has made me realise just how much we are led by our habits. The majority of habits we have are automatic, we have been taking the same course of action for so long that we do not give it a second thought.  Those of you who drive, have you ever arrived at your destination and cannot recall the journey? When I started my driving lessons over 20 years ago I felt there were far too many processes to driving. I could not get my head around the fact that at the end of each road you had to stop, put the car into neutral then first gear before driving off – as well as looking in your mirrors and at your blindspot!  Now, I do this with very little effort as it has become a habit; a part and parcel of my life.

When I arrive to my place of work, I drink a cup of warm water, two if I am feeling extra healthy.  This has become a habit and I do so before eating anything. I have read it can take up to 30 days for an action to become a habit, I feel this is a rather long time but it goes to show how often we need to repeat something before it becomes part of us. Before we begin to attach it to our lives and take ownership of it.

I am sure you can think of a number of actions you take at around the same time of day.  An ex-colleague of mine would make a cup of tea at the same time every day. He was most certainly a man of order. He would actually wait for 11am, 2pm and I think 4pm. Even if he felt for a hot drink minutes before, he would wait until the hour came.  I personally felt this was extreme but it worked for him and caused no harm to anyone else.

In a way, forming habits can give us a sense of control, often a false sense of control. We feel we are shaping our day by doing what is familiar to us, what feels good to us.  Habits often make us feel safe and comfortable. If anything were to occur to somewhat change these habits, it may well bring confusion or unsettle us. It is for this very same reason that I try to be more flexible to avoid major disappointment when I am unable to do what I wish at an appointed time.  One habit I am holding onto is eating snacks at home whilst watching a film – I like to have the cinema experience!

I have given much thought to my habits as I try to identify where they came from and when.  Whilst I am happy to hold onto good habits, I will work towards dropping habits that no longer exist to enhance any area of my life. It will not happen immediately as if you have spent years doing a thing it is unlikely you can let go of it in an instant.

What habits do you have?
Do they enhance or hinder your life?
When were these habits formed?



19 thoughts on “How much do your habits impact on your day-to-day life?”

  1. Some habits are hard to break so we need to change what we do before the action becomes a habit, for example travelling through the same route to work every day or going to the same fitness class every week. Life can become boring after a while.


  2. That sounds like an interesting book you are reading about habits. The ideas that habits give you a false sense of control can be true at times. People don’t like to change their habits because they like how the end outcomes coming from it. I guess that is why people prefer to keep their habits. Why be forced to change if you like the outcomes that comes for it?


    1. It is Janelle – I truly recommend this book. Our habits bring comfort and familiarity but not always the best outcomes. We will only experience better outcomes when we change our habits.


  3. We are creatures of habit, and so our lives are definitely influenced (good or bad) by them.
    In fact, to be able to make a change, such as exercising or starting a new routine, you first had to do it enough to make it a habit, then it becomes 2nd nature.


  4. I definitely have habits that I need to change in order to have a more productive/successful day. As a Mom of a One Year Old, who is also trying to balance a freelance writing career, I am left doing most of my work during late hours (notice, it is currently 1 AM) and I do not get enough rest each night. This in turn, starts leading towards a “not so healthy” lifestyle. I really enjoyed reading this and it has opened my eyes to what I have to do in order to balance things better. I also, need to make a cup of tea now 😉


    1. Thank you for sharing your experience Joanna and for following my blog.😊

      With young children, the middle of the night really is the only time you can focus on your projects. The issue is having to survive on such little sleep. I need to prioritise going to bed by at least 10.30/11pm a few nights a week.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Interesting post. I like the way Marty asks us to differentiate between habits & rituals. I find cats are so ritualistic in everything they do. They do indeed have habits. But they are going to the bigger goal often associated with ritualistic behaviour.


  6. I have lots of habits and try to break many habits–even just for a day or two. I do that to try to see if I should keep a habit or not. I like Marquita’s statement about the different between ritual and habit and agree. It’s good to spend a bit of time figuring out which is which.


  7. I think it’s important to clarify there is a difference between a habit and a ritual even though they both involve repetitive action. A ritual is something done repeatedly with a purpose outside of the action itself, a habit is something done repeatedly for the purpose of performing the action itself. I have a ritual of taking an afternoon break to sit out on my patio with a cup of tea to enjoy the sights, sounds, and the smell of the woods behind my home because it brings me inner peace. On the other hand, it is my habit that the first thing I do every morning is turning on the coffee maker. The intention is what makes the difference. Thanks for the inspiration, sounds like a very interesting book you’re reading!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for providing clarity Marquita and sharing your personal experience.

      Yes, the book is interesting and pushes me to think about what I do and why I do it. Often we are caught up in the busyness of life and give little time to stand back and observe.


  8. We all have habits but we must be very flexible. What would you for instance do if you are not able to drink one or two cups of hot water every morning? That can easily happen. Three people I know are now detained in the Saudi purge. Are they able to stick to their habits? Most certainly not. But they still have the ability to think and make the best of the situation. Above one one them who is not only determined but persevere in whatever he does.


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