You might know what goes into forming a good habit or fixing a bad one, but it’s also important you keep focused on the right ones. Asking yourself whether a habit will fix a problem or not can help you prioritise your habit-forming goals.
Photo by OiMax
Before you dive headfirst into developing a new habit, there’s something you need to know about it: why? Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Happiness Project, suggests that most of us want to change things when we may not need to. Rubin shares a piece of advice she gave to a friend who thought they needed to quit drinking coffee:
For instance, a friend said, “I really love coffee, but I know I should stop drinking it.”
“Why?” I pressed. “Does it keep you up at night? Does it make your stomach hurt?”
“No, it doesn’t affect me. But I should at least cut back.”
“But why?” I pressed. “Enjoy it! A habit isn’t bad unless it causes some kind of problem.”
So ask yourself, “what’s the problem?” What problem are you solving with your habit changes? You might not have an answer, and if so, why waste your energy on it? You probably have other habits and goals you want to take on that do solve problems in your life. Fix the things that stress you out, that constantly pop up in your mind, and can affect your future. You’ll probably be happier if you do. There might still be time down the road to change habits just for the sake of “changing things up,” but take on the problematic stuff first.
Are You Unnecessarily Sever with Yourself and Your Habits? [Psychology Today]