There is a common saying- you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. To wit, it is almost impossible to try new ways of doing things and it is even more so when one has gotten acclimatized to doing things in a particular way for long.
In school,especially for boarders, routines are created for students to follow. Students in first year who are most often not used to waking up at 5am to the sound of a siren, performing a daily chore and sticking to time throughout the day, struggle for a while. After a few weeks, those who are not totally cast in their ways, warm up to the routines.Others struggle longer.
Every family also tends to have their routine and so do individuals. In a family setting, one may have no option than to eat at table, wait till everyone is done before getting up, par example. However, individually, a person may like to eat in the hall while watching T.V and hold on to the plate till the T.V program has ended. A thing like that,will most likely be frowned on in a family or group setting.
When a child is about 6 months old, mothers are told to start changing mannerisms their babies have adapted or stop allowing certain things so they do not become difficult to quit in future. An example is backing a baby so he/she can sleep. In parts of Africa, babies are usually rocked on the backs of mothers or other relations to sleep before being transferred to a bed/cot. In doing so, most babies get used to it and will not sleep until they are rocked in this manner. It gets difficult to do this when they put on or have longer legs. Therefore, more experienced mothers encourage newer ones not to start what they cannot finish. Potty training is another skill young children from age 1 and a half (it differs) are taught to stop them from getting too comfortable with diapers.
Adapting new routines or doing away with bad routines is a herculean task and comes with a lot of discomfort but the results of it are beautiful.
Thank God we are not old dogs so the next time you want to find an excuse to why you have not given up on that bad routine or adjusted your routine to a more efficient one, remember that even an old dog can learn new tricks if it has the will and the opportunity.
WILL is a strong desire or determination to do something; a person’s choice or desire in a particular situation( Merriam Webster Dictionary). If you truly desire to cause a change, there will be 1000 reasons why you should/can try again even after failed attempts.
OPPORTUNITY is a time or set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.(Oxford Languages)
If you truly desire a change, Now is the time to do it regardless of your schedule.