Why Are We Creatures Of Habit And Routines?

Creatures Of Habit – Mix it up, will ya?

We’ve opined in the past about the curious “four block radius” phenomenon that affects many city-dwellers, who day after day get entrenched into their own “routine.” They become creatures of habit. Nothing inherently wrong with that per se, but with all the talk about “FOMO” (fear of missing out), can you imagine what those people are lacking in the “real world?”

creatures of habit off the beaten path

Anyway – stupendous blogger Ken Jorgustin of the Modern Survival Blog brings to the surface something everyone should think about daily:

Why Are We Creatures Of Habit And Routines?

“We are creatures of habit. Think about it. How often do you park in the same general spot every day at work? Do you always park in the same general area when you go to your grocery store or other ‘regular’ destination? Do you always buy the same things at the grocery store week after week? When you go on vacation (to the same place as before?), do you do the same things that you did the last time? Go to the same places, restaurants, same spot on the beach? If you’re a church goer, do you sit in the same approximate pew location every week? Do you drive the same way to work every day? Or the same way to ‘the store’ whenever you go?

If you eat lunch in a work cafeteria do you sit at the same table nearly all the time? At home or at work do you always eat the same basic foods most of the time? If you’ve ever attended a seminar for more than one day, do you (and everyone else) always sit at the same table as you did the day before?

creatures of habit why not take the long way homeThink of all your routines and how you (we) often repeat so much of it time after time while rarely getting out of our ‘comfort zone’? Why is it that we so easily fall into the same routines while rarely trying new things, new ways, new places, new routes of travel, a different schedule, new or different ‘anything’, etc..?

While I know this is not true for everyone, it certainly seems to be for the majority based on my observations of life.

The world is immense. And throughout most of our lives we only see and experience an extremely tiny slice of it while we ‘travel the same roads’ of life. We rarely venture out – even in our neighborhoods and localities. There is so much more to see, so much more to experience – all of which affects our own view of the world, who we are, and how we fit in it.

It might do us good to push ourselves out of our routines from time to time. Get outside the herd or experience a new direction or ‘thing’. Learn something new – just because you want to… If you’re about to do something a certain way, ask yourself is there another way? One day take the back roads to where you’re going. Go for a walk through your neighborhood. Look around. Park in a different place next time. Do something different.

I believe that you will be better prepared in general if you train yourself to think outside the box and break your habits and routines. If the shite ever really hits the fan one day, nearly all the routines of all the people will be disrupted…and they won’t know how to handle it… will you?”

Not all habits are necessarily bad!

Ken got mostly supportive responses, but some people reminded him that some “good habits” (like cleanliness, preparedness, and more) are not all that bad. But he said:

“I was wondering whether or not this article would come across the way I hoped. Certainly, habits can be highly beneficial, practical, helpful, etc.. I certainly did not intend to put out the impression that ANY habit is bad – while in fact many are extremely good and essential as pointed out in a previous comment. I was simply musing about how we in general do the same things over and over again – the same way – without a second thought. As if robotic. We seem to crave (and be comfortable) in routines. Considering something ‘different’ is often met with resistance. It’s interesting. If our world ever gets turned upside-down, people are going to ‘freak’. Simply an observational opinion. Nothing earth-shattering I suppose.”

In the end – you should always mix things up!

Even with good habits – it’s prudent to find more than one way to meet your routine goals. New sources and methods are your best bets. Or complementing your good habits with other, related good habits.

But I agree wholeheartedly about purposely challenging yourself to do things differently as often as possible (especially the “road traveled.”) We do that daily. I almost never take the same path or road when I embark on my daily mission. It’s so much fun, even when the destination is the same – I have 100 different ways perfected!

Same with food. While we may have some places for “staple goods,” I’m constantly traveling the tri-state area to find new (and frankly, better) places to obtain our necessities. It’s fun, too! No app whatsoever aids us in our travels other than the simple mantra – “we’ve never checked this place out in person – let’s go!

Leave a Reply

2 Comments on "Why Are We Creatures Of Habit And Routines?"

1 year 2 months ago

A very simple concept that is hard nowadays for most to grasp. I like the concept of going outside the box now more that ever. So much seems prepackaged and convenient. We’ve unsubscribed from Groupon and many other deal sites this year.It felt fake. My boyfriend still gets inspired by some of the deals that passes through his inbox, and I have to remind him is it his thought our someone else’s? He gets it soon enough.

Being adventurous is not popular anymore unless you can instagram about it.

1 year 2 months ago

This is a great article. We’ve been doing this more and more over the past few years. Throwing curve balls in our routine. It’s fun, and unpredictable.