I’ll be writing a lot about habits over the next week. For an upcoming article, I’m looking for examples of people who have successfully re-started a habit they’d previously stopped. After falling off the wagon, how do you get back on again? Was it harder the second time?
I’ve managed to restart my daily journaling habit after about 2-3 years of very, very intermittent writing. I’d thought the habit was pretty strong, as I’ve been journaling since age 13! But the sheer volume of words I’ve been cranking out (and writing about my life on this blog) meant that I’d miss days, then I’d miss more days and then…3 months would go by. But when I had my most recent baby, I decided that I wanted to write in my journal in order to preserve these memories for him. I write about everything, so I’ll have to scrub some stuff before I hand over the pages to my offspring, but still. The memories are better preserved this way than piecemeal.
(Of course, there’s always the possibility that I will die suddenly and won’t get around to scrubbing the journals. Hmm.)
I’ve stayed with the habit since January 1st. In this case, having an external motive helped me. I also think this will be an interesting year, so I’d like to have a record of it. That’s more of an internal motivator. Between the two, I manage to pick up my journal daily. Also, practical matters have helped. I’ve been basically housebound with the baby, so it’s not like I’m somewhere other than my journal. It’s there on my nightstand staring at me.
Have you ever re-started a stopped habit?