As well as being a world-renowned podcaster, co-creator and host of an internationally award-winning coaching community and the best father my daughters could ever ask for (ya, maybe I’m trying to make myself feel better this morning or perhaps just looking into the future), I’m also starting a driving school in my local area. I’ve been a driving coach for a couple years now and honestly it’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done and I’ve done a heck of a lot of things. For some people learning to drive is just as much or more of a mental challenge as it is a physical one. I’ve had students do breathing exercises, visualizations and helped them overcome fairly extreme phobias. I’ve taught 100’s of teenagers, adults up to 80 years old, students with handicaps and a lady who only knew about 10 words in English. I love the challenge of it. One of the habits that I try and help them develop is to check their blind spot every single time the blinker is on. Whether they’re changing lanes, going into a turn only lane, parking, leaving the curb… if their blinker is on, that blinker is reminding them to look over their shoulder and pointing in the direction they should look. I want them to have the instinct of checking their blind spot before they move the car in one direction or another, especially in a situation in which they may be tempted to jerk the wheel to avoid hitting something. Sometimes though when they put their blinker on and I ask them “What’s your blinker a reminder to do?” there is literally nothing going on around us. I’m sure they’re thinking “Dude, I know nothings there.”. But it’s a matter of creating an automatic reaction that they don’t have to think about.
Here’s my point:
I’d rather them create the habit and then choose when NOT to do it, rather than not having the habit and then having to think about it every time. So when it comes to my early morning habit, I’m comfortable missing a day once in awhile. In the development stage, relentless consistency is highly important. And in overcoming some of the more destructive bad habits like drug abuse or gambling, making an exception is definitely not a good idea. But with some of these other things, don’t be so rigid that it takes away from experiences in your life. Leave some room for life to happen too. These are just my thoughts and opinions. You’ll have to find that balance for yourself and do what works for you.