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

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: