Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Values in Habits

You're totally surprised to see another post where I profess my love of Gretchen Rubin, right?

When I read "Better Than Before," I took a lot of notes. Pages of notes.

Now months after the fact, I'm still reviewing my notes and reminding myself of all the eye-opening tidbits of information I'm still in the middle of processing.

It was the kind of book that made me question why I try things,

and questioned my methods to achieve success in those things.


Something we do a lot in life --

we try to take on habits,
try to change something about ourselves,
try to fix something

solely because we think that's what we're supposed to be doing.

Because all our friends are doing it.

We have no actual interest in doing it,

but we see other people practicing it
and we sit in this weird, I don't know, FOMO void
where we declare to the world,
"Man, I should be doing that, too!"

But we never get around to doing it.

Maybe it's committing to start running
or to try Whole 30
or to meditate
or to stop eating meat
or to stop drinking coffee
or or or or

These habits that we declare to want in our lives
but can never seem to actually DO,
Gretchen calls them "Red Herring Habits."

These are habits that reflect other people's values

priorities, goals, wishes, hopes, dreams.

We never get around to doing them

because those people aren't us.

We have our own values

priorities, goals, wishes, hopes, dreams.

At this point, I think I'm the only person in my friend circle that hasn't tried Whole 30.

I've decided that it's because I don't want to. I don't place value on short spurts of really drastic change in my diet. It doesn't work for me.

Not because it CAN'T, but because I don't want it to.

You'll never start a running habit you don't want to actually have.

You'll never start a meditation habit if you don't want to meditate.

There are so many things in the world we can do to feel fulfilled.

And you might be the ONLY person that wants to do those things.


As an Obliger, I struggle with finding my own habits identity in the midst of wanting so deeply to support others and meet their expectations.

It's easier for me to start ANY habit when I have an external expectation,
when I feel like someone is watching me. 

Because of that, it's so easy for me to get lost in other people's habits and other people's values.

Who am I when I'm left alone to fill my own time?
What will get my energy?
At the end of the day, what do I value above all else?
What will I do to show the world that's what I value?


-C McG

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