Types of Habits
Classification serves as a catalyst for change. Just as categorizing diseases aids in formulating effective treatments, sorting habits into distinct groups empowers us to devise tailored strategies for habit modification.
Categories of Habits by Impact
- Meta habits or keystone habits: time management habits and habit of consistency.
- Habits by key areas of life: health habits, study habits, social habits, financial habits.
Meta Habits or Keystone Habits
There are two meta habits habits that we can’t change anything without: managing our time and staying consistent.
After we figure out that we’ve got to zero in on these two habits, we start focusing on four areas of life.
- Focus on yourself: your health, your finances, your studies. Actually, studying is where we start changing things, and studying involves keeping a diary. Here too, you need planning and consistency.
- Focus on others: social habits.
Then, we start breaking down the habits within these areas.
Time Management Habits
Both “successful” and “unsuccessful” people have the same 24 hours in a day. Our differences stem from our time management habits.
If we don’t control our time, and let time control us instead, we can’t change a thing.
So, the first habit to change is how we manage our time.
Time management habits include journaling habit, calendaring habit (plan your time, set deadlines and reminders for tasks), prioritization habit (determine which tasks or activities should be done first), focus habit (maintain your attention and energy on a single task), and habit to track your time.
Habit of Journaling
Progress always follows observation. So, kick-start by tracking your current habits.
To gain a clear snapshot of your existing habits, do this: jot down what a typical day in your life looks like for you, hour by hour. Doing this not only illuminates what you’re already acing, but also throws light on a few areas where you could level up.
Observing how you allocate your time allows you to discern between efficient and wasteful activities.
Knowing your game plan in advance makes hitting your targets more likely — you skip the time drain and energy leak of deciding what to do on the spot.
Be sure to fence in clear start and end points for tasks in your day-to-day. Without these boundaries, tasks will simply float around uncompleted.
As for an evening alarm, consider it your cue to wrap up the day and start winding down. I know how tempting it is to ride the night’s momentum, but this often leads to sidelined chores, restless sleep, and a next day that starts on the back foot.
Habit of Consistency
The second habit is even more important. That’s consistency.
Consistency is the practice of continually performing specific routines, gaining insights from the results, and fine-tuning these activities as needed to keep moving towards our long-term objective.
Every habit hinges on the habit of consistency. Without consistency, not a single habit will stick. Moreover the entire framework crumbles.
You have to keep repeating and pushing toward your goal. If you’re not being consistent, you’ve got to dig up the reasons why.
Embedded within consistency are mental habits that can either impede or facilitate our actions. If we struggle to maintain consistency, we need to identify and address these mental obstacles. Sometimes, we may struggle to change a habit, not realizing that there’s an underlying unconscious habit at play.
When we have time, we can decide how to use it. However, there’s some time that we can’t take back, no matter how much we might want to. This is the time we need for our health. It encompasses rest habits, including sleep. We also spend part of our time eating and drinking, which are essential for our survival. We dedicate a portion of our time to physical activity too, which is another necessity. These make up our physical activity habits.
If we neglect our health, our productivity will decrease, our sleep will suffer, and we’ll get sick more often. With good health, we can dedicate more time to other areas of our lives, such as finances, learning, and social interactions.
This category also encompasses receiving medical treatment for existing illnesses and engaging in preventive measures such as regular check-ups. If we allocate time to these aspects, everything is in order. However, if we neglect them, we will need to invest more time here as our health deteriorates. It’s crucial to recognize and prioritize our health limitations, setting aside dedicated time for them. Failure to allocate time indicates potential problems with time management or on a mental level.
We allocate part of our time to earning money, cultivating financial and work habits. Without these, we’d lack funds and need to depend on others’ generosity.
We dedicate part of our time to studying. Without it, there would be no change in the previous types of habits. Keeping a journal and professional development fall into this category.
We dedicate a portion of our time to interacting with others because it is essential. Without it, we would live in isolation. This includes prioritizing our relationships, including our family. It is necessary for the well-being of our souls, encompassing a spiritual aspect. Additionally, acts of charity in various forms are part of this equation, where we redirect the outcomes of our financial habits.
Classification of Particular Habits
- Anger, as a habit, can be considered a part of social habits as it often involves interactions with others and can significantly impact relationships.
- It’s also closely tied to mental health, so it could be categorized under health habits as well.
- Managing anger effectively could be seen as a keystone habit.
If someone can successfully manage their anger, it could lead to improvements in various aspects of their life, including their relationships (social habits), stress levels (health habits), and even productivity (study habits and work habits).