Sticking to a new habit is a difficult endeavor. Once it’s in place, however, the battle has only just begun. Many people who go to the gym steadily for over a year just… stop all together.
Some joggers make it through most of a marathon only to give up with 5 miles left. The sad truth is that sometimes habits can get in the way of your goals.
When Habits Get in the Way
In Felix Ravassion’s “Of Habit,” he coined the “double law of habit.” This law details how repetition strengthens our tendency to do something, but also decreases any emotion we relate to it. In other words, habits make you more likely to do something, but you will start to consider that thing boring.
This is why people who do things the same way for a long time burn out. They just couldn’t anymore because it seemed so monotonous, so routine, that they couldn’t stand it! To avoid this, you need to add new bits of novelty to the activity, no matter what the activity is.
A Marathon runner might make sure to have new, interesting music or podcasts for each leg of the race. That way they will have something to look forward to as they run on and on. Someone hitting the gym regularly must update their routine often, about every month or so.
Also, don’t forget to up the weight on your exercises so you can see more progress. Doing the same sets of reps over and over and over is enough to drive anyone insane, especially if you aren’t seeing results.
The Double Law of Habit in Relationships
When we first meet someone, everything is new. Simply going to the grocery store can be a fun adventure just because you enjoy that new special person’s company so much. As time goes on, however, relationships develop routines. These routines are subject to the double law of habit.
Even a Friday “Date Night” can become boring if you always go the same place on the same day. Passion can start to leave a relationship when everything is predictable. The key is to spice things up and do something completely new. Do a cooking class together, see a play, do something in town you’ve never done before, and make sure to keep finding these things! The flame will stay alive, but it needs kindle.
If always finding new things sounds stressful, don’t sweat it. After a while of trying new things, you can go back to one of those old favorites for a bit and it’ll seem new too! Just keep switching things up and keeping yourself amused.
The Double Law of Habit in a Life
Countless people report a feeling of just wanting… more. They think there should be something more to this life. There is! You just have to adjust your habits.
When nothing spurs you on, even the most enjoyable routines become boring. Going out with co-workers every Friday might have been a fun release the first time it happened, but after a few months you might start wishing you had something else to do. Binge watching another show on Netflix might have been fun that one Sunday, but now it just makes you feel depressed.
Life is about habits. There are good habits and bad habits, but there are also good ways to practice habits as well as bad ways. If you find yourself feeling empty and wanting to give up on something good, spice it up! Bring back that passion you had when you started doing it.