Lucas Brenner » Articles » What You Can Learn about Habits from Children

Children possess an instinctive knowledge that many adults have lost.

When I went jogging some time ago, I passed a little boy. He asked me what I was doing. When I explained that I was going for a run, he replied, “Isn't it boring to just run all the time?”

I like to go running, but I know people who see it very differently. This simple question made me realize something that may seem obvious.

If you want to build a habit, you have a goal in mind, such as being athletic, acquiring knowledge, or finding inner peace. There are “standard habits” for these goals: Muscle training at the gym, reading, and meditating.

Nevertheless, many people (including myself) find it difficult to keep up these habits.

Of course, there are many reasons for this. But what if you just don't enjoy the habit enough?

The boy realized something I had long overlooked: You really have to have fun to stick with a habit.

Instead of doing a workout at the gym, even though you don't enjoy it, you could go rock climbing. Instead of going for a run, you could play soccer or football.

For every activity you don't like, there is a more fun alternative. Of course, you can argue that a workout at the gym is more efficient. However, I would rather sacrifice some efficiency in exchange for having fun.

Of course, there are things you just have to do, even if they aren't fun at the moment. In my article “3 Types of Fun,” I write about the types of fun and what they feel like.

You can make it easier for yourself to build a habit. You just need to find a fun alternative for the activities whose benefits you want to achieve but don't enjoy.