I’m not convinced that it really takes 21 days to form a habit. I’m not convinced it doesn’t. What I am convinced about is that unless you want to get something done, it won’t get done if you’re not focused or committed. Whether that becomes a habit or not is subjective.
“My actions are ruled by appetite, passion, prejudice, greed, love, fear, environment and habit; and the worst of these tyrants is habit.” – Og Mandino
Habits can be very good but we all have some that are not so good. The problem with habits is that when they start negatively impacting others around you, then you need to consider changing them. It’s knowing the difference that matters. For example, there is this one colleague in my life who is late for every meeting. Each time we schedule to meet I get a text a few minutes before informing me that they’re sorry and are running late, usually due to some unforeseen circumstance. The truth is that the ‘unforeseen circumstance’ is that they’re a poor time manager and wait too long to leave in order to be on time.
This has two effects. First, it sets a precedent that my time isn’t valuable and theirs is, so I’m left having to accept it and/or discuss it with them, hoping it will change. The second effect is that it forces me to consider how I can help both of us. In this instance, I schedule meetings 30 minutes earlier, knowing that they’ll likely to be there at the original time I had in mind. Sounds like a lot of work right? In actuality, it’s learning how to manage a habit – in this case, their habit.
We need to communicate that we value others and one way is to determine if any habit in our lives is preventing others from believing they’re valued by us.