February 27, 2022: The Power Of Habits
I am a creature of habit. I like to set up routines in my day/week. I park I the same spot at school. Go to the grocery store the same day each week. Get up and go to bed, for the most part, at the same time each day.
Habits. Those things we do without much thought. While from the outside, a life filled with habits and routines may seem boring and unexciting, the fact is that the right habits can be an extremely powerful tool in leading the exact kind of life you want.
I recently listened to an interview with author Julia Cameron, and she talked about how her habits were the foundation that allowed her to be creative. The habits that she had established, freed up her focus and energy so that she was able to pour her creativity into her writing.
To establish habits that are really effective and become an unconscious part of our lives, requires thought, planning, and effort. At least in the beginning. Research suggests that habits built around our long-term goals, as opposed to short-term goals, are much more effective and successful.
The power of habits is that once they are established, they are more powerful than almost anything. They can help to push us through tough times. They can sustain us when our energy or will fade. They basically take away many mundane decisions and choices we usually make every day, therefore, freeing us up to focus on the big things!
Habits can also bring order to our lives. Life is naturally chaotic, and messy, but with a few well thought out, and well placed habits, we can help to rein in some of that mayhem and bring a little peace and neatness to our lives.
There are Categories of Habits:
- Health Habits
These are the food, sleep, and fitness habits that can help you to optimize your health and how you feel.
- Home Habits
These are what most of us call chores. Laundry. Watering the houseplants. Paying the bills.
- Relationship Habits
This might be your weekly call to your parents, monthly dinner with friends, or that daily text you send to your loved one.
So as a writer, how can we harness the power of habits?
Writing Habits should include the nonnegotiable time every day we set aside for writing. Whatever that looks like for you, once you establish this as a habit, it will be easier to do it and harder to skip it. We can also establish habits to deal with other parts of our writing life, like updating social media, sending out queries, or contacting bookstores to schedule events.
Once these Writing Habits are established, they provide the framework and timeline we need to complete that manuscript, push through writer’s block, or deal with those mundane tasks that must be done. They will allow us to truly harness the power of our creativity and write!