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Are You a Creature of Habit?

I just got back from my first weekend trip in a long time, visiting old friends and new family (my cousin’s twins, whose faces I just gotta share with the world):

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I had a great time, but it was an adjustment. I’m a creature of habit for the most part. I like to eat certain meals on certain days at certain times, go certain places, walk certain routes. Don’t worry, I’m not pathological about it: I don’t go all Adrian Monk if I break a few routines. Still, I tend to keep to my routines if there’s no reason to do otherwise. So it felt weird being in a totally different place where most of that goes out the window. I’m glad I went, but I’m glad to be home.

Other people are just the opposite. Their lives are always up in the air: You never know when and where they’ll show up, eat, sleep, or anything else. They play everything by ear. And then there are all those others who land somewhere in the middle. This includes the people who make some plans, but who plan for lots of variety.

There’s no inherent right or wrong about these tendencies. They can get out of hand: Everyone needs some measure of both steadiness and flexibility. But there’s room (and even need) in the world for a range of personalities.

What about you? How much do you like to stick to routines? (Examples welcome.) How much do you prefer variety and, perhaps, unpredictability? (Examples also welcome.)

Bonus question: Do you see pluses or minuses to your approach? Do you think you should change in this area or do you find more value in doing things pretty much as you are?

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About the Author

Matt Kaufman

Matt Kaufman has been a columnist for Boundless since the site’s founding in 1998, and did a stint as editor in 2002-2003. He’s also a former staffer and current contributing editor for Focus on the Family Citizen magazine. Matt is a freelance writer/editor who spent some years in Colorado, but gave up the mountains for the cornfields: He now lives in his hometown of Urbana, home of the University of Illinois. His house is a five minute drive from the one where he grew up, and he enjoys daily walks around the park where he used to play baseball.

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