January 3rd 2018
Sometimes it is the habits that go unnoticed that are the hardest to break.
In the spirit of the new year, I am returning to a topic that I talked about in the middle of blogmas that I wish to discuss more. In my 18 Little Things for 2018 post, I discussed the topic of “defaulting”. By my personal definition, defaulting is the practice of mindlessly acting or making decisions based on pre-established defaults that I have unconsciously created for myself.
For example, my answer to “how are you?” is usually “good, how about you?” or “good, tired, but good.” When I go out to eat with a friend and we can’t choose a place, I have a list of default places to go and at those places I already know my order without exploring what the menu has to offer. When I am bored, I text the same people and perform the same activities.
This has caused a bit of a rut to form in my life. It is sort of like when you sit in the same spot on the couch every day and there is an indent worn in from you sitting there….except it’s my life. I would always attend the same yoga classes at the same times every day and get stressed by the thought of trying new times. I get nervous going to restaurants I’ve never been or shopping at stores I’m not familiar with.
Defaulting has sort of stunted my growth in certain areas of life. It is sort of funny really. If you ask me to go to a concert somewhere I’ve never been or to try a new coffee shop in town then I am 100% willing to deviate from my norm. But, for some reason, deviating from simple things like yoga classes or orders at restaurants really throw me.
I think it’s because this has been such an unconscious progression. I didn’t realize that I keep ordering the chicken crispers or the steak every time I got to Chili’s. I didn’t realize that only going to the 7:30AM classes at yoga was drilling this conditioning into my head that somehow makes me feel unwelcome to the afternoon classes. I can just be a creature of habit and I really want to make the change for myself and for my personal growth.
So this year I am challenging myself. I am going to try to deviate from my default at least once a week. When I get bored, maybe I will resort to reading or writing instead of watching YouTube. Maybe I will start blogging from coffee shops instead of mostly in bed (or in the current case, at work). Maybe I will reach out to a friend I don’t normally keep in touch with to hang out on a given week. I just want change.
I wrote a post a long time ago about change and how it was frightening and I wanted to be more open to it and now, I think, is my chance. By integrating change in a gradual and controlled manner, I think I could get used to it and even grow to enjoy it.
How do you default? If you choose to challenge yourself the way I am, let me know and we can hold each other accountable!