Habits are made to be broken – End of the Day for June 13, 2014

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No matter what your age, we can all fall into habits, both big and small, so easily. When we face challenges in life, falling back on our habits seems easier and gives us a sense of stability when we might be surrounded by chaos. Of course, when we things are going well and we aren’t surrounded by chaos, our habits lose their useful and just become — well — boring. If we allow our habits to become the norm, we might not realize it right away, but our life is going to lose a little bit of its interest, a little bit of its shine.

As much as we might hate change, humans thrive on novelty and the excitement of the new. It tickles the pleasure centers of the brain. Whenever I am bored — or someone tells me they are bored — it is almost always because we haven’t been experiencing anything new or different in our lives. In our efforts to protect ourselves from too much stress, we swing the pendulum to the complete opposite side of the spectrum. We hide away in our habit hermit hole and try to lock out the world. Trust me, this is NOT what you what — or need — to do.

As with anything new, we sometimes have to force ourselves to step outside our comfort zone, to cause ourselves a little bit of good stress, so we can continue to grow. Of course, these need’t be big changes. You don’t need to go skydiving or jump off a building — unless these activities interest you — you just need to take one small step in any direction outside your norm. Find a new way to work. Stop at a new coffee place. Read a new book. Listen to a new playlist on Spotify or Pandora. Do something to allow a little serendipity to enter your life. The littlest thing can help.

Another caveat. Just because you try something new, it doesn’t mean you have to do it forever. There is no great commitment to it. Your only goal is to try something once. If you like it, add it into the mix of your life. We do that with food a lot. We are always seeking new meals to add to the family food rotation. Some things work and others are tried once and never again. In the last two years, though, we have found that we like curry, we like jambalaya and and several other foods that are well outside out usual foodie tastes. Maybe you’ll like one of the new 5 routes you find to work, or 2 books in a new genre you enjoy. You’ll never discover these new things in life, though, unless you take some steps to try something — anything new.

Break out of your habits in any way possible and your life will grow in ways you have never imagined.


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