Creating Your Own Habits

June 12, 2018

 Are you a "Creature of Habit?" Are you someone who loves to live your life with routine and order or are you the rebellious type, like me, who rarely has two days that are alike?  I have a tendency to be adverse to creating habits or routines of any kind. The minute someone tells me I should do something, I tend to do the opposite. I'm what Gretchen Rubin calls the "Rebel." 

 

Gretchen has created the Four Tendencies Quiz. This quiz helps you discover how you respond to outside expectations (deadline requests) and inner expectations (writing a novel). Knowing your tendency, according to Gretchen, may help you be more successful in following, for example, your New Year's Resolutions.  Knowing your tendency can help you accomplish those things you want in your life and therefore be happier.  The four tendencies include:

  • Upholders: Respond readily to both outer and inner expectations

  • Questioners: Question all expectations; they'll meet an expectation if it makes sense to them

  • Obligers: Meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves

  • Rebels: Resist all expectations; outer and inner alike 

In her book, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, Gretchen offers 21 strategies to make or break our habits. She helps readers pinpoint the strategies that will work best for them.

 

Many of my coaching clients tend to be very creative people. Creative types tend to resist routines and habits. Their minds are always filled with ideas and special interests. They tend to, like the Rebel, be drawn to what attracts them versus what others want or expect them to do.

 

For my creative clients and myself included, we often need to create our own habits. For example, if we know we need to exercise or eat healthier, it works best if we could design our own way of doing it. We look for a way to enjoy the experience and how it might be more enjoyable and interesting for us. For example, I recently joined a gym. It took me a long time to find just the right place, where I felt "at home." The place was inviting to me as it offered classes I like and offered convenient times that worked best for me. Once I found a place that suited my needs and interests, I've been able to create an exercise routine that works for me. I had to find this place for myself without others telling me I should go there.

 

One of my clients, a writer, created her "special" place to do all of her writing and therefore was able to get her writing done on a regular basis. She found a place in her home that she loved and now enjoys her daily writing retreat.

 

An artist friend of mine bought a set of colorful pens to motivate her to start her projects. She finds pleasure in creating designs with her sensory appealing instruments.

 

Another way I motivate myself to complete tasks such as making my bed or cleaning my room is to write down the 3-5 things I would like to accomplish for the day. I make it fun to check off my mini "To Do" list and then I can do the things I would prefer to do.

 

How about you? Is creating habits easy or difficult for you? Are you a person driven by routines and habits or do you often have difficulty achieving them?

 

Perhaps there is some change you desire in your life. What new habits can YOU create to accomplish those desires?

 

 

 

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              Connie M. Leach, Ed.D.                conniemleach@gmail.com
 

Connie M. Leach, College & Career Coaching Services