It took me until February to get it. It was such a big day when Miss Coleman put my shoe up there, near the end of the line of shoes marching around the classroom wall. I was so proud of myself for achieving that goal! I still remember this, more than 50 years later, like it was yesterday.
Flash forward to the end of that school year. We were going out for recess after nap time, and I realized that I had put my shoes on, tied them, and run outside without thinking about it. Wow! My first conscious encounter with habit. And what a good one. Thankfully, I can still habitually tie my shoes today and, I bet you can, too.
I bring this story up because as we launch into thinking about habits, it’s important to remember that not all habits are “bad.” In fact, if you had to remember all the parts of driving your car every day, like you did when you got your learner’s permit, you’d be unable to concentrate on that story on the radio, or make that hands-free phone call. Habituated behavior is how we get through life.
So today, take time to be aware of the habits that you need to get through your day smoothly, and thank those behaviors for showing up.
Can you find one habit (like tying your shoes) that you could focus in on, just for today? Can you take yourself consciously and with full presence and attention through that activity you don’t normally think about doing? What’s that like?
Shoot me a comment and let me know. And see if you can find me in my kindergarten photo!