Habit can be defined as repetitive behavior resulting as an absence of:
- Information seeking
- Evaluation of alternative choices
Everyone has some habit which she wants to get rid of and some habits which she wants to inculcate. Some habits are good some are bad. Habits which are good for some, those very habits may not be good for others. For e.g. - Some people have acidity because of by having tea, some people feel energetic after having it.
The foremost things here is we do not have full information or understanding of the things we are doing. We do not seek information about it. Nor are we aware of the experience of that habit. We just follow it because a person of authority has said that, parents have said that, or the society believes in it, health magazines say it etc. We don't check or counter question or check its validity/applicability to us.
Pretty much chunk of the day is guided by habits. The way we wake up, brush teeth, eat food, go to work, work at workplace, our travel to work, etc. There are different ways to do these very things but the repetitive behavior is so engrained in us, that these things just happen. There could be any other way of doing this, just does not occur to us.
Have you seen a bullock cart and when it drives on a muddy road? Driving on the same road again and again, make the road have groves. If the same bullock cart goes from that route everyday, it makes those groves on the road even stronger. Later even when the bullock cart wants to change it becomes difficult.
In the same way the neural network of our brain behaves. There is nothing right or wrong here. It all depends from person to person. But the groves go deeper and deeper in our brain as well. So next time when you want to change, it becomes difficult and more and more you delay it, the more difficult it gets.
Same is the case with inculcating a new habit. With tremendous effort I had started exercising a few years back. I remember I used to wake up and sit there just motivating myself to actually start exercising. Priti!!, stand up and start exercising. I was surprised that how can I be so unbugging. Even while exercising I used to say to myself, okay this is the last exercise. I had a set of exercises to do. But still in between many times I would say, enough. The rest I can leave or are not required. Or I will do them tomorrow.
I was even plumper than this and this is a ‘reduced’ me. After pregnancy I have reduced. Still some work is remaining.
I would say be a master of your habit not a slave. Inculcate whichever habit you want. Leave which ever habit you don’t want. And Experiment.
We have a family friend an old lady. But she cannot do without taking bath in the morning. Completely at the mercy of her habit. There is tremendous guilt if she goes to kitchen or prays without a bath. Bath is good as a hygiene part but when you have something to do early morning, are in an urgency, need to reach somewhere, or someone needs your help. Such time the presence of the moment is important, not your habit.
How do you do that? Anything you are doing habitually, question that. Why am I doing this? Is it required? That kind of awareness will only bring about a habit change or only then you will be able to inculcate a new habit.