Beeminder Forum

Thoughts and experiences with big(ger) pledge Amounts?


I can’t figure out how to make a new forum thread to talk about this, but I feel like you have brought me to an epiphany: I, also, have no personal evidence that there is such as thing as a “habit.” Can the entire world really be so wrong…?

I can’t think of a single thing I do regularly that isn’t motivated by a distinct external trigger and/or explicit conscious decisions. Then again, I can barely even think of a single thing I do regularly. Maybe I have no habits because I have no daily routines in my work or social life; I wake at a different time and go to a different place every day of the week.


I’ve long suspected that “habits” are one of those things that some people have, and some people don’t have (I’m in the “don’t have” camp myself). The very examples that people use as “default habits that everyone has” when they’re explaining how to get more habits – brushing teeth, eating breakfast or lunch, getting a snack during the day, etc – are things that I have to actively put effort into remembering to do/doing, and they will very quickly disappear if the structure I’ve set up to support them go away. I’ve always assumed that the people who talk about “developing habits” have a different experience from me.

The closest thing I have to habits as traditionally conceived are muscle memory paths to get somewhere – I have a strong habit, I suppose, of getting to work in the morning, in the sense that I leave the house, and then a little while later I’m at work, and it doesn’t require conscious direction to do this. In fact, when I lived within walking distance to work, I had a perpetual problem of ending up at work when I was trying to go somewhere else, because work was my default “autopilot” destination. Is this what people mean by habits?