New habits shouldn’t excite us

Real change requires real work

“If some new habit or practice strikes you as hugely exciting, there’s a good chance it’s the opposite of what you need – that it’s helping you shore up your defences, rather than challenging them.”

I came across the above line in Oliver Burkeman’s ‘The Imperfectionist’ newsletter today and have been pondering it throughout the day.

Of course, it makes a heap of sense: A new habit that excites us is probably an immediate indication that it’s not going to stretch us in useful ways.

In Burkeman’s newsletter he also quotes Bruce Tift who writes:

“The practices that carry the greatest potential for transformative change are usually counter-instinctual.”

All of that is to say this: if we want to see genuine change in our lives, it won’t be easy and it won’t feel good – real change requires real work.

Damn it.