Does my personality affect my habits?
Talking about habits
After reading Steve Covey’s seven habits of successful people, I asked myself the following question.
‘Do habits have anything to do with your personality.’
Why would I ask myself such a question? After reading this extraordinary book, I had to think bout habits. I linked this to a few things I have been trying to do recently. One of the things that I did last month was to create a new morning routine. The exciting part was that at first, my wife was like, ‘You always do that! Make plans and do them’. My wife is both amazed and frustrated that I can follow such plans. I was doing it as planned and on time. I would wake up at 6 am every morning, read, go jogging, come back and shower, and I was on my work desk at 9:30 am.
She asked me how I can do that and answered herself by saying it was because of my personality. I believe its sweet for her to say that, but somehow she wonders and now I do too.
The routine things made my thoughts go back to my childhood. When I was young, my father expected me to wake up early and buy the early newspaper from the shops. In the townships, there is a queue in the morning as people are on their way to work. My father did not want to come and find that the newspaper stand is empty, and so, his son had to do it. I think I can say ‘thank you, dad’ now. Maybe, that helped me in routines. Maybe, just perhaps this made me be able to wake up on time and do things.
For my wife, anything she does and I say ‘what are you doing?’ She would say that it’s her routine and laugh out loud. How sweet, but this included absolutely anything ‘she wanted to get away with’. It became a game of how to get away with murder. ‘Your honour, its because of my personality’, she would say. However, it was a good lesson for me as it made me look at things differently.
So why is it that some people manage to follow a routine more quickly and others struggle. My wife will always snooze the alarm and sleeps for that 10 minutes more. Her prediction that the reason we do it differently is due to different personality is exciting. I had to ask other people about this issue.
After talking to a few humans, as I could not ask any robots, I noticed a pattern. In most cases, everyone thinks that they can’t do much unless they can only force a few things. Maybe it is because of the indifferences. Even if that is the case, why do others struggle with the routines and others do not?
Studies have shown that if you do something for two days in a row, for example, and pause, and do the same thing for another two days; you will establish a good routine. Your mind starts to realise what you need to do in small steps. What you struggle with will be eliminated little by little, so much that you do not fall into your old habits. What this tells us is that It appears if you set a huge goal, you will still need to take little steps to achieve that goal.
The question will be if that is linked to the personality of each individual. I order to answer this question we will need to look at the science. Do you want to have a routine and you find it difficult? Then please see the next part of this discussion next week as we dive deeper into habits, rituals and personality. A combination of this will be your way to success.