in: Character, Habits, Sunday Firesides

Sunday Firesides: Do You Take This Habit . . . ?

We tend to think of our goals as destinations — things to strive towards and then check off the list.

Some goals are structured by this dynamic.

Habits are not.

The need to keep up with a habit isn’t over after twenty-eight days, or six months, or a decade. 

It’s never over.

Habits get easier to sustain the more ingrained they become; yet their maintenance phase never expires.

We are ever swimming against the current of entropy. As soon as we stop making the effort to move forward, we immediately begin drifting back. As soon as we quit the diet, the lost pounds return. As soon as we stop lifting weights, limiting our screen time, or praying, our strength atrophies, our focus deteriorates, our faith dwindles. 

To remain where you end up, you have to keep doing exactly what it took to get there.

Habit formation is thus less like taking on a one-time project and more like committing to a lifelong marriage. And an arranged one at that.

Choosing a new habit therefore requires more self-reflection than it’s usually lent.

Do you really want to become the kind of person who does X, Y, or Z, or is it something you simply feel you should do?

Do you think you’re a good match with this particular habit, or is there a way to achieve the same desired outcome but with a practice that better aligns with your unique proclivities?

Do you believe this is a habit you can come to love, and are you willing to put in the effort to cultivate that “romance”?

Do you feel ready to vow fidelity to this new way of being or acting?

Do you take this habit, to have and to hold . . .

’til death do you part?

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