Habit is everything, and it is not confined to the usual daily activities like exercise or flossing. I have successfully incorporated most day-to-day habits: I write, exercise, read, brush my teeth, take vitamins, stretch/foam roll, review the day... and moisturize. Meditation is one I have struggled with...
But this post is about larger, higher level habits. Like achieving goals. Too often people quit. I quit. I change the goal. One day I choose to pursue promotion to project manager, the next to leave and start my own business. One day to pack on muscle (gain weight), the next to shred fat (lose weight). Frequent changes like these have several effects, none positive: productivity and sense of purpose diminish: a consistent self alignment is lost.
Thinking on this now - it is the largest problem I currently face. And where there is a problem, there is an opportunity for improvement. Vast improvement in this case. Goals without definition are like buildings without doors, they have little use. Yet they still take up space. The plan? Set goals and stick with them. Identify a timetable, probably shorter (think months, not years; gain promotion to next level, not to 3 levels up; gain 10 pounds, not be 10 pounds heavier with less body fat): this will provide a direct focus. A clear purpose. But more importantly, stick with them. Until completion. My newest habit. And by far the most significant.
Yeah, you heard it here first. And only here. I'm done with raw food.
Why, you might ask? The whole reason I was even eating raw in the first place was because it helped with polyphasic sleep. I'm not doing that anymore, so I have to really evaluate the benefits of it. I feel great, but I also felt great when I was eating along the lines of my skinny snob diet. When I was doing that and working out people constantly were telling me that I look better than ever. Now they just cower in fear and throw garbage at me. More to the point - if I have any goal as far as health goes, it's to bulk up a bit (15-20 pounds of lean mass). Eating raw is definitely not helping that. I also want to live forever, but my old diet is very much in line with that as well. So, it's back to regular food for me.
The other benefit is that it's a lot easier to accomodate my diet anywhere I go. Because of raw food I had to stop going to most restaurants that I enjoy, other than my weekly cheat meal. I think I'm doing away with that as well.
Leo Babauta has inspired millions through his writing on Zen Habits, where he's shared his experiences in building up great habits, cutting clutter and junkfood from his life, learning about great parenting and building a wonderful family, eliminating debt, increasing his income and productivity, and living a life that's more happy through and through.
Leo is now graciously participating in GiveGetWin with a practical class on "action-oriented contentment", and he sat down with Sebastian Marshall to share his thoughts on what motivates him, around what contentment is, on trusting yourself, on being compassionate and compassion as an impetus for action, on self-compassion and treating yourself well, and happiness in general. Enjoy:
"Practical, Action-Oriented Contentment and Compassion" by Leo Babauta, as told to Sebastian Marshall