I hope everyone is doing well! Today, I want to talk about one way I use without knowing that makes me value and hang onto my habits more: leaving my habits for a while. I have been getting back to some of my old habits recently and I like this. I also have been thinking why some habits are harder to form in adulthood. I want to combine these in this post.
We all have habits. Some from our childhood, some we form in adulthood. The ones we form in childhood become a part of personality. The ones in adulthood depends, at least in my case. Let’s say that I was an avid reader as a child. Chances are that I still am one. I also probably read just as much now as then. If I have not established myself as a good reader as a kid and try now as an adult to become a good reader, whether I am still a good reader or not depends on circumstances and time. Let’s say A decided to read regularly as an adult and I was never a regular reader before. At the beginning of A’s decision, A will be enthusiastic and read regularly. Later, this enthusiasm will likely fade away and A will not want to read anymore.
If I was A, I would give up on it for a while and get back to it as soon as I can. That is because if I force myself into this habit, which I am forcing to be part of my personality now, my personality might reject this foreign material entirely. Instead, I find it better to leave it when the enthusiasm fades away. Then what happens in my case is that these breaks become shorter and shorter and eventually the new habit becomes a part of my personality. This process takes a while but eventually gets to the point. One difference between habits formed in childhood and adulthood is that the former is easier to form and harder to leave. But habits can become a part of us in adulthood too.
All this means for me that I just needed that break to get back to my habits. I hope that this second stage will be more permanent. It also means that we adults should not give up on a habit we want to establish, whether it be reading, exercising, sleeping early etc., just because we could not pursue it without fail or without taking a break. I think it is in the nature of many habits formed after childhood.
Let me know what you think about this. Do you have habits that you successfully established in adulthood? If so, how did you do it? Are there any other differences between childhood habits and adulthood habits that you can think of?