Making the Habit

What’s your routine when you wake up in the morning? What do you do first, pour your coffee or prepare your breakfast? When you’re putting your shoes on, do you put your right shoe on first or your left? When you’re brushing your teeth, which teeth do you start with?

Chances are you probably had to think before you answered. However, tomorrow morning, you won’t have to think about this. You’ll just do it, no thought required. Force of habit.
Habits are a fascinating subject, actions carried out by the subconscious but which are incredibly useful for getting things done without exerting any substantial mental effort. I’ve just started reading The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Early on he talks about the story of Eugene Pauly. Due to a viral disease, he lost his memories. If he was sat in his living room, you could ask him where the kitchen was and he wouldn’t be able to answer you. But here’s the interesting bit. When he was hungry, he would get up, walk straight to the kitchen, get a snack, and walk back. No thought required. Force of habit.
For a more in depth description you’ll have to read the book, but the lesson to take home is that habits are a very important part of our day to day life. With that in mind, I’ve been thinking about what habits I have, and what habits I’d like to have. Being the geek I am, I’ve started using an android app called Habit Streak Plan. I’ve listed the habits I’d like to develop, then each morning the app asks me if I succeeded in keeping my habit the previous day. So far, my goals include writing daily, and to do at least one web design tutorial each day. the idea is little and often. It’s still early days, but so far it’s proving quite the incentive. And hopefully, in time, I’ll have some positive habits that I can use. No thought required. Force of habit.