Habits and habitat

I got back from San Francisco on Tuesday. It was a good trip, but between the time difference and the unfamiliar surroundings, my normal routine was thrown off somewhat.

I wouldn’t say I have always thought that much about routine, but reading Principles by Ray Dalio last year gave me a renewed appreciation of the importance of habits – what he calls “the most powerful tool in your brain’s toolbox … If you do just about anything frequently enough over time, you will form a habit that will control you”.

Since then I have made a concerted effort to build certain habits, with some success. Though as Ray says in Principles, “developing this skill takes some work”. This is particularly the case when you are away from home, and while I was away last week, a few of my newer habits fell by the wayside.

I have picked them back up from the wayside now, which is good. But I am reminded of a nice turn of phrase my sister used when we talked about this a while back, resolving “to make my habits into my habitat, keeping them with me as I go”.

I didn’t quite manage to do that on this trip, but I am hopeful that next time round I will do better.

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