I recently purchased several books on habits. Why the topic? Simply because one of the books purchased has been in my “must read” folder, since its publication in 2012. So naturally it was the first one I purchased. With a little help from Amazon’s suggestion tool, I added two others in my basket.
The Power of Habits by Charles Duhigg, gives great insights into the relevance of habits formation and how much they shape and define our society whether we are conscious about it or not. Great introduction into the subject.
My second read: Better than Before, Rubin Gretchen, The Happiness Project author, was an eye opener as it delved into our everyday lives habits. I realized that some repetitive actions, the good and the ugly, stem from a routine I have carried around for long. An ugly one being flossing while watching a show on television. Not a very family-friendly activity.
I identified few habits I should implement to make my life easier, but more important, to be a better human in my house. How is that you ask? Well picture me arriving home from work and before I even get to the door I already have comments on the tidiness of the yard, or that one of the decorative tree is slighty higher than the other one, or asking (with scorn in my voice) my daughter if she really went to school with her hair as it is. Now enters that matron (still I) in the house and the rambling continues until my husband simply asks “Evening darling, how was your day?”. That and other gentle and subtle sentences of his always break the spell and make me come out of the trance. Only then do I sit down to hear my folks.
So enters a transition habit to switch from professional woman to mother and wife. I call it family debriefing routine where I allow a 30 minutes sit down and talk, on the patio – currently living on an island – with kids and husband before entering the house. It creates a proper and gentler transition, and most importantly, family bond is renewed.
Another great habit suggested in the book was scheduling a time slot for worry time. As the author puts it: Instead of worrying continually, a person saves the worry until the appointed time, and then worries until the time is up. How brilliant is that! All humans should adopt this habit. Here is my theory and how it could enrich interpersonal relationship: since we know that most individual worries; if those persons would schedule a worry time slot – preferably when not around another individual – they would both listen to each other . Who hasn’t been in a conversation where the end receiver is completely absorbed, not by what you are saying, but by an answer to formulate back to you? I know I have been guilty of such behaviour.
I am convinced that everyone enjoys the company of people that truly listen to them and are fully present in the conversation.
So kudos to that habit which has found a place in my schedule.