There is a woman who I would guess to be in her 80s that walks by my house every day. Every. Day. She is more durable than the Post Office who delivers in snow, rain and heat because she walks on Sundays, too. No matter the weather or conditions, this woman trudges up the hill and makes her trek.

I think about her persistence – as I watch from my heated or air-conditioned office – and doubt that she questions her activity. I would guess that her walking is a habit – just as much a part of the day as eating meals or brushing teeth.

Gretchen Rubin advocates the cultivation of habits because they reduce (remove) the mental capacity necessary to make a decision. You don’t have to think about it — and thus lose emotional energy in the process – you just do.

I admire those who engrain habits into their lives for the tough stuff. I have written 2090 dots and the process of sitting down to do them still doesn’t come easily. Often I spend as much time thinking about what to write as I do on the actual writing. I also think about whether I should take the dogs for a walk – is the weather ok, are the sidewalks free of salt or puddles, etc. I wish it would come naturally to just do it every day like this woman and not think about it.

I have quoted Susan Power before who writes that “motivation is in the doing.” Energy is generated in the doing too and depleted in the thinking-about-doing. Strive to minimize your energy loss by creating habits instead of daily decision points.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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