Strange, right? Habits that are built through time are not made to last? How can it be?
Before going deeper in the subject, let me start with this: habits are great, and building habits will help you improve in all aspects of you life. So you should try to build new habits. This is a quick reflection and I’ll probably rewrite a better organized article on the subject in the future.
So what are habits? Habits are actions we do regularly with little to no convincing of anticipation. We build habits in all aspects of our life because we need to. It would be impossible to live without this mechanism in our body we call habit. And with time we build new habits to face new situations.
And that is exactly why habits are not made to last. As you evolve in life, your situation will change. The people you know and spend time with will change. You will age and have different needs and expectations. And you past habits themselves will set a new environment for you to go through.
So instead of holding on to habits, you should make them evolve with you or build on top of them. All the habits you have today and the building blocks for you upcoming habits. And once you have those new habits, you previous habits are most likely to become obsolete.
Take a baby that first learns how to crawl, than to advance on all 4s, and finally learns to stand up and learns to walk. That habit of crawling was vital for the baby to build from it and eventually learn how to walk. But once he was able to develop a better habit, the previous habit got forgotten.
As adult we tend to forget we are also evolving, in a fairly similar way as babies do. When you arrive in a new work environment, it may come with a promotion or a change of skills. And with that you need to build a completely new set of habits to be able to adapt and thrive in this new environment. And our environment changes all the time.
We can go even further saying that people who refuse to change their habits age faster than others. You’ve probably met an elder before that is strongly anchored into his/her old habits, even if they don’t make sens to keep doing for at least a few years. I’m saying it easy to change, if anything it can be quite difficult.
It’s what is called neuro-plasticity: the capacity to create new links between your neurons. And just like any ability of the body it takes regular training to maintain. You do exercise to keep your muscles in good condition. You stretch you stay flexible. And you should build new habits regularly to keep your mind agile
Habits are not made to last, and in fact holding on to old habits can make you age faster.