charted territory: routines in times of change14 Feb 2023
back in 2018, i wrote that i hadn’t yet learned much about personal systems/habits/routines in moments of change.
welp, it’s been 5 years now and i have now, in fact, charted some of that territory.
in summary, what i was talking about in the earlier post was the question: what happens when you’ve built a habit that no longer works for your goals or doesn’t work in specific contexts?
here’s what i’ve learned:
- habits can expire. sometimes, i build a habit for a particular circumstance and then that circumstance changes. it’s totally fine at that point to let that habit go. i may decide to replace it with another or simply just let it go. (ex: a few years ago, i wanted to learn more about how the days shortened and lengthened over the course of the seasons. so i built a habit of drawing sunrise and sunset on a chart every month. after a year, i had learned the lesson. so i put the habit down. )
- well-built habits are relatively easy to pick back up. (when i don’t write for a while but want to put together a new essay or longer piece, it’s pretty easy to jump back into my 10 mins/day morning writing habit).
- a habit working in some contexts but not in others may say more about that context than the habit itself. (when i travel, the fact that my 2-3 hour morning routine doesn’t fit is less about the routine and more about what it’s like when i travel: i’m usually in a special situation and part of that circumstance is prioritizing friends, family, or work)
anyway, and as always, there’s more to share here but i’ll put the pen/fingers down for now. thanks, nisha, for inspiring me to write this up!
words / writing / post-processing
w / min / min