How To Ruin A Good Habit

The quickest way to turn a good habit into legalism is to insist that everyone else do it, too.

It's great that making a change worked for you, but that change isn't a universal law. It may not work for everyone else. Insisting that others must follow the new rule in order to gain a new level of freedom in their own lives only invites shame, guilt-trips, and resentment.

Some people find that avoiding email first thing in the morning helps them focus and increase productivity. Others find that checking email when they wake up helps them put first things first and prioritize.

Some people need to turn off all social media in order to keep themselves from feeding a pattern of jealousy and greed, while others find that checking Instagram or Pinterest can serve as a mental break and bring a jolt of creative rejuvenation.

Some people find that following a Paleo lifestyle helps them stay disciplined in other areas of their life, while others find they feel and perform better following a different plan.

Everyone needs boundaries, but where those boundary lines fall is different for each person. Personal freedom means developing habits and practices that work for your own life, not just following a list of what worked for everyone else.

Originally published March 2013