On Habit

Here’s the thing: I got disrupted and distracted. There I was, two weeks into my practice and starting to find real benefits of even the brief twice a day 3-minute mindfulness moments. I was loving it. And yet I dropped it.

The curious part is that it was AFTER a week-long trip to the west coast during which I maintained the practice that I fell by the way side. I got home and got busy. I was trying to catch up after a week away. The busyness and stress of reentry encroached on what I otherwise thought was important.

Ah the challenge of building new habits. When stress comes into play we often go back to what we did before. Even when we like the new habit and want to continue it, somehow trust in it breaks down when something challenging comes up. Charles Duhigg writes about this in his terrific exploration The Power of Habit. Duhigg discusses how habits are formed and broken… that in order to build a habit we must determine the craving we are trying to satisfy and create the routines to meet it to achieve the reward and satisfaction at the end. A key to long term success, and particularly success under stressful and challenging conditions, is having a strong belief that change is possible.

I’m gearing up for another go at building and maintaining my mindfulness habit.