If I were That Kind of Person, I might decide that the Universe was sending me stuff about habits.

For one thing, I’m listening to a curious book about Tidying Up which a Facebook friend suggested to me. This book strongly opposes the idea of getting into the habit of tidying. This, the author says, is hopeless. Instead, you should do all your tidying “in one go.” I was thinking this must mean rushing through your house all at once, picking everything up.

No. It means taking all of one category of items — say CDs — and putting them on the floor. You choose a place for all the CDs to live and then pick up each one, deciding whether it gives you a jolt of joy. If not, throw it away. If so, put it in the home you’ve chosen for it.

After six months or so, you’ll have a completely tidy home. You will not, the author says, need to tidy again. Ever. However, there are many habits you should pick up:

  • thanking your belongings as you put them back in their homes
  • putting them back in their homes so they can rest
  • greeting your home

All these and many more practices will cause you to have everything tidy all the time.

Then the author of an ebook contacted me and asked if I would read and review his book about how to develop good habits step by step. His method involves planning out a week ahead to do something each day for just five minutes. You must wait till the next week and you must do the thing for just five minutes.

You can add on in subsequent weeks.

From that book I learned that the time it takes to really get a habit can take from 18 days to 254 days.

I’m also listening to Darren Hardy’s Compound Effect when I drive. The thesis of that book, which I ordered when it turned up in my Amazon recommendations, is that small changes, practiced consistently (habits, in other words), make big changes over time.

And then I got an email from Moo cards mentioning the Habit Journal. For a mere pound, the exchange rate for which I will learn when I see my credit card statement, I downloaded the PDF for this.

habit-journal habit-journal2

The Habit Journal says to determine your goals, identify the habits that support them, and then forget about your goals. Focus on the habits and you will automatically reach your goals.

I have been thinking about habits since last November, and I am coming to believe this, almost. “Almost” because I think there are so many things that you have to do as a project, not as a habit. Still, if I have the habit of spending my work day from 8:00 to 1:00 on The One Thing that is most important for the good of my business, that could count as a habit and yet I would still get things done.

I am also using and preparing to review a planner which includes goals and calendars and such, but which also includes habit.

I know that this is selective attention rather than the Universe trying to tell me things, but it all serves as confirmation of my current focus on habits.