Habits are useful and powerful, but they can also become traps. When I first shifted from writing my blog entries one at a time over the course of the week to writing them all in one sitting it caused me anxiety. It did not feel right, not because I was doing anything wrong, but because I was breaking the pattern.
That anxiety is fine and it is part of what makes habits so powerful. Breaking them causes stress and that stress keeps us on track. But we cannot allow the stress of our habits to keep us from adapting. We cannot let habit be a prison that stops us from growing.
Let’s say you have a yard that has become overgrown. You decide you want to make a garden out of part of it. You know you do not have the time to clear the entire backyard so you clear part of it. You work your little garden and enjoy it. Mostly it takes care of itself and you think it would be nice to have more space to work.
At this point you can feel confined. You have this space that works but also a sea of weeds. The trap is feeling that you are stuck with just the little patch you cleared. That garden mostly takes care of itself, there are no beds to build and you just have to keep up with the normal watering. You can let it keep on doing what it’s doing, and you can clear another section and keep improving your yard.
As you build habits, make sure they are a strength and not a weakness and they will take you far.