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  It's a Habit!
  Posted by: c-runner on Jan-30-14 9:27 AM (EST)

-- Last Updated: Jan-30-14 9:30 AM EST --

The hallmark of a habit is that one (almost) automatically performs the action as an integral part of whatever larger activity is involved. So somebody with the habit of "always" wearing their seatbelt in a car just automatically begins to reach around and grapple for the belt and click it into place. Something just feels wrong if, for some reason, they've neglected to do this. Now we all know and understand (don't we?) that we need not attach our seatbelts while sitting in the driveway or garage washing the inside of the windows or fishing for something in the glove compartment. But if we're driving our vehicles, we wear our seatbelts.

The PFD situation is just the same for those who have developed the habit--the PFD goes on as an near-automatic response to getting ready to launch. It does not need to, nor does it usually, get worn while sitting in the kayak on the grass at home, say, while first testing out the latest backband or seat adjustment--we'll probably put in on later, though. But if we're paddling, on water yet, we wear our PFDs. This is what is meant by developing the PFD habit, the seatbelt habit, the tooth-brushing habit, etc., etc.

I offer this explanation for those who have difficulty understanding what habits are and how they work, and find that they must "decide" these simple things every time the situation presents itself. The safety and health statistics will easily demonstrate that good habits result in better outcomes for those who acquire good habits.

Hope this helps!

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