New Habits

Do you have any habits? I’ll bet you have more of them that you realize! In fact, most of our day is made up of habitual things: same wakeup time, same morning routine, same route to work of school, same lunch choices, same way of thinking, same way of coping with stress, and so on.

For many families, a new school year begins today. Even if you don’t have school-aged children, the Tuesday following Labor Day is sort of the (un)official start of the fall season. And it’s a good time to take a look at your habits.

“Take your mind out every now and then and dance on it. It is getting all caked up.” —Mark Twain

Good advice! We usually learn things through four stages:

  • Unconscious incompetence: we’re no good at something, but we don’t even realize it.
  • Conscious incompetence: we realize something must change, but we’re still no good at it.
  • Conscious competence: we’ve learned something, and now we’re good at, but we have to think about it a lot.
  • Unconscious competence: we’ve become proficient at something, and we don’t have to think about it any longer.

The problem is with both of our unconscious zones. Unless we pull out our habits and look at them every once in awhile, we may never know what’s holding us back.

QUESTION: What new habits are you going to try to make/break this fall?

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