The repetitions we choose

The past year can best be summarised as a year of new routines.

All through the world people have had to adjust to uncommon everyday rituals and find alternative ways of going about their usual business. Human closeness made way for social distancing, traveling was replaced by Zooming, sanitising became a household assignment, work became divorced from a place or dress code, and living quarters were repurposed into working and learning quarters.

One year later, one of the biggest struggles in getting the pandemic under control is to get people to turn appropriate routines into spontaneous personal habits. It takes time to change our patterns of conduct, as they have become ingrained by years of repetition, irrespective of their usefulness or harm. If you do something for long enough, you stop asking questions about its relevance or influence in your life.

Habits matter. There are few decisions as important in your life as the habits you settle on. A habit’s feat of longevity colours your life in lasting ways. Revolutionary breakthroughs in our lives are in most cases the compounded outcome of many miniscule steps, relentlessly repeated. So are our biggest failures.

If we wish to change our destiny, we need to modify our habits. We can’t long for a certain outcome, yet continue with habits that steer us in the opposite direction. Be clear about what you aim for in life; then deliberately choose habits that enable those dreams. Repetitions based on sound fundamentals, render exponential returns.

If you want to change your habits, the strength of your commitment matters. There may be short-term costs involved in culling some of them, and you may have to buckle down for a while to make new ones stick.

Good luck goes hand in hand with good habits. Sculpt your own good fortune by choosing your repetitions with care.