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Understanding Habits (Part 1)

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a habit as “an acquired mode of behaviour that has become nearly or completely involuntary” .  L...

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a habit as “an acquired mode of behaviour that has become nearly or completely involuntary”

Literary, a habit can be explained as a regular tendency or practice. It normally occurs subconsciously; and refers mostly to practices that are hard to give up in life. However, a habit can be good or bad. 

Understanding Habits (Part 1)

Old habits are difficult to break; new habits are difficult to form! This is because human behavioural patterns become imprinted with a certain degree of permanency in their lives. Therefore, embracing change and adjustments along the way, either for the positive or negative, is by no means easy. 

Below is a scripture, quoting King David as he tried to define his habits

Psalm 119:54-56, “Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage. I remember your name in the night, O LORD, and I keep your law. This has become mine, because I kept your precepts”.

There are three basic types of habits: 

1. Motor Habits: 
These habits are driven by physical bodily activities of an individual. They are formulated and sustained based on our muscular activities such as walking, touching, running, exercising; therefore maintaining particular body postures that develop to become habits. Even in athletes, it becomes predicable how a certain footballer will dribble. It can also become predicable action when a mother resorts to throwing her arms in frustration when her child is misbehaving. These habits are normally made impromptu. 

2. Intellectual Habits: 
These habits are anchored upon our psychological processes which require intellectual abilities to inform the next action. Examples of such include good observation, accurate perception, logical thoughts, and use of experiments/testing to make decisions. Such practices normally require reasonable time before a final decision is made. 

3. Character Habits: 
People sometimes exhibit their characters through habits. Examples of such include acts of compassion towards the needy, loving and trusting people the way they are, remaining cheerful and smiling, being always on time, being thorough in one’s work, wearing clean and ironed clothes all the times, and keeping a tidy house. Such habits are anchored on “feelings and emotions”, therefore they can also be referred to as “emotional habits”. 

Check out Understanding Habits (Part 2)

Tapiwa Zuze
Administrator Extraordinary™