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The Habit Man: Invitation to Write #5

For Writers:

I find it difficult to change. For years I have told myself to stop biting my fingernails, but unless I wrap all of my fingers in bandages, nothing stops me from gnawing away. Although I know better, I seem helpless to stop.

From time to time, I convince myself to exercise and eat a healthier selection of foods, but it never lasts. Soon enough, I fall back into the habit of eating powdered donuts and watching TV all evening. The exercise equipment in the back room remains silent from disuse, and the apples in the refrigerator rot.

Human beings are slaves to routine. The daily grind of life wears us down after a while, and the way we cope is to fall into the security of habit and routine. Habit and routine don’t necessarily need to be bad things, but it’s a lot harder to break a bad habit than it is to break a good one.

Today, think about one of your bad habits. Can you pinpoint why you fell into that habit? Is there any way you could quit? Change your routine? Outline an action plan to quit the bad habit you’ve described. Think carefully about what security that bad habit gives you, and find ways to permanently remove that bad habit by removing the need for that security.

“To fall into habit is to cease to be.”
Miguel de Unamuno

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