In May’s bookclub book, The Power of Habit – we’ve been talking a bit about why we do what we do – how to understand our habits (good or bad) and how to use that part of our brain as a way to strengthen our lives instead of being controlled by them.
Otherwise, feel free to jump in to this conversation and share what your thoughts were below.
Discussion: Simple Daily Routines
Once you really dive into this, we’re finding that most of the things you do every day are habit.
At some stage of your life, you didn’t even have to stop to think about what you’re doing, what decisions you’ll make in regards to lots of things and they’ve become habitual responses, instead of being conscious choices.
In fact – about 50% of your daily actions are habits. This will vary slightly, based on your personality type – but on average, about half of what you do doesn’t require too much thought. Things like, how you drive your car, the route you take to the shops/office, your showering habits/routines, evening downtime etc etc etc.
It’s that embarrassing moment, when you realise that instead of driving your kids to school, you’ve not paid attention, switched into autopilot brain mode… and driven to McDonalds instead. (This is purely hypothetical of course!! haha)
Some of these are just simple this-or-that decisions, like having coffee or tea in the morning.
Others are more complex and can be a bit tough or at the very least, time consuming to completely break down.
If you’ve got habits that you’ve been doing for years, that are thoroughly ingrained into your regular routine these can be pretty tough to alter. Not impossible, just more of a challenge.
Having these autopilot behaviour loops is important to ability to be creative, inventive and explorative. We can only think and develop progressively, when our habits are formed that free up our mental energy to advance into new areas of study.
The most exciting thing that Duhigg impressed upon me in the book is that once you form a habit, it will be there… in your mind forever. You can learn new habits and overwrite the existing ones, but when you are creating a brand new habit, once it’s formed – it will stay there forever as that default action for that particular situation.
He also urged us to think carefully about what drives us to do what we do, because it’s those drives that guide us to choosing positive habits over the negative ones.
- Do you find the idea of having almost 50% of your life on autopilot scary? Or Comforting?
- Have you given some real thought into what it is that drives you?
- Have you got a silly ‘autopilot’ story to share?
- What habit do you WISH you could overwrite with a new default autopilot setting?
- What kind of things are part of your daily routine? What does it look like?