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Breaking Up With Habits

Updated: Jan 14, 2021

Nine months ago, we moved from NYC to the mountains of South Carolina. I looked at the move as a chance to leave behind some behaviors that no longer served me. Specifically, I wanted to engage in my own well-being by making conscious choices instead of convenient ones—to clean my own apartment instead of using a service; to cook my own food rather than daily to-go containers; to take hikes rather than shop for handbags. Admittedly, I could have done this while still living in NYC, but it seemed more viable to move where those values were already built into the setting. The changes were easy at first because they were new and exciting. I did my own laundry for the first time in 20 years, I filled my kitchen with farm produce rather than excess shoes, Paris mountain state park replaced Bloomingdales as my Saturday morning go-to.

But then… I found a restaurant where the bartender extra-pours my wine. Bloomingdales has a website. Laundry piles amass because I’m the one who has to do it.

In yogic philosophy, there’s this idea of samskaras: mental attitudes and ideas formed by our actions. Every time we repeat an action, it makes that impression a little deeper in our subconscious. Over time, it becomes harder and harder to smooth over that groove. And there’s your definition of a habit.

The other day, I found myself talking with a potential friend who started going very deep very