by Nancy Casey
Much of what we do every day is “out of habit.” Our “bad” habits get a lot of attention. We’re either trying to change them, or wish we didn’t have them, or keep remembering reasons why they aren’t good for us.
On the other hand, we hardly notice our good habits, because they don’t get in the way. Today, write about some of your best and favorite habits—what they are, how you got in to that habit (if you remember) and why you are glad you have that habit.
A habit is something you do without thinking about it first. So it might take a moment to answer when you ask yourself, “What are some of the things I do every day without thinking?” And then you have to narrow down those answers to the ones that you are glad that you do.
Try to get your mind moving in that direction as you set up your page. Draw a line at the top where your title will go. If a good-habit idea hasn’t come into your mind after that, start doodling or drawing somewhere on the page until one does. You might want to draw a box or blob to set aside some space for doodling or drawing later, too.
As soon as you remind yourself of one good habit that you have, start writing about it. Explain what the habit is and why doing this automatically is a good thing for you. How long have you had that habit? Do you recall how or when you “got into it?”
You can take yourself on a mental tour of your habits by thinking about everyday things: hygiene and housecleaning, food and drink, transportation, entertainment, relaxing, reacting to people, parts of your work day, sleep … What are some of thing things that you do all the time? Which of those are habits? Which of those are good things to do?
If you start to focus your mind on habits that are good, the annoying part of your brain might remind you that you aren’t perfect and tell you your habit isn’t all that great, or start preaching about a related not-so-good habit that you have. If that happens to you, don’t write any of that stuff down. Just remind your brain that you are only writing about good habits now and there will be plenty time to get to those other things about habits later. Maybe doodling will help your mind stay in the good-habit groove while you are thinking.
When the page is filled up, look over your work. Pause to add illustration or decoration if you like. Do your ideas form any kind of a pattern? Do they seem to be about a bigger idea that you hadn’t really planned on writing about? If they do, maybe you can use that insight to think up a title. If they don’t, make up some kind of a title anyway and write it at the top of the page.
Put your initials or a signature on the page, too. And write the date on it. Here is just one example of the type of thing someone could write.
You can share your work by posting it as a comment below. You can type it in, or take a photo of it and upload the image.
Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. You can find more of her work here. If you would like some help with your writing, contact Nancy or the Latah Recovery Center. In-person Write-for You classes have been suspended for now, but when Covid recedes, they will return.