A while back I wrote about how I was going to be neat and tidy henceforth. I'd clean my RV twice a day, keep my travel stuff organized while on the road, and basically be the opposite of what I was before.
I stuck with it for a few weeks, but then, in a hurry to pack, I left my RV messy before leaving on a trip. When I got back I never got back into the groove.
It's not like I didn't realize that I had abandoned this habit. I was fully aware of it. If you had asked me about it, I might have expressed that it was too bad, but it just never stuck.
A couple days ago I went through that mental cycle and was ever so slightly appalled at myself. Oh, really? I decide that I'm going to make a change, and it doesn't stick? And somehow that's an explanation that excuses me from having to do the hard work of getting back on the habit?
What a toxic mechanism to allow to live in one's brain. No, if something hasn't stuck yet, that just means that I have more work to do. It doesn't mean that I'm done and I failed.
The problem is that habits not sticking is commonplace in our society. If you tell someone that you intended to make some change, but that it didn't stick, they won't mock you or even register the event. Yeah, that's the way it goes sometimes, they might think.
Not anymore for me. I'll quit habits intentionally, but always with proper consideration and never just because it didn't stick. Let's see if I'm still neat and organized this time next year.
Photo is my RV when it's clean, like it is now.
Remember this post you wrote at Zen Habits?
The perfect complement to your thoughts here.
Rooting for you & appreciative of your contribution to my life perspective & influence on my thought processes.
To be honest...sometimes it's just not the right time to form a new habit.Inspired by all those "12 months without" or "forming 52 new habits next year" kind of announcement around NYE 2013. I wanted to build up 12 new habits. Tackling one each month:I started slow with flossing twice a day in January, continued with cutting down on sugary drinks (beer, wine, occasional soda), and so on. It worked well, the newly formed habits stuck until April came and my goal was to cross out all of the refined carbs (those foods with a high glycemic index) and I totally crashed.So what happend? – Apparently I wasn't prepared enough to make this change. The other habits or changes were comparably less complex, less depending on other factors. The overall setting wasn't right.I called it a failed month by the end of the third week of April, I reflected on my behavior and found that troubling circumstances. I simply was unconsciously exposed to too many food-related choices (read: too many chances to make the wrong choice). I wanted to eat fresh food, so I went to the supermarket or farmer's market every 2-3 days. I realized that I needed to form the habit of just shopping once per week (compromise between freshness and decision-amount) and stick to a predefined weekly meal-plan.I did this the whole May without focusing on low-carb/low-glycemic index food. And the habit was pretty easy to form. It actually was a relief, as I didn't have to devote a large portion of my attention to food-related choices.Now, in June, after paving the way to form the desired habit, and I made the desired dietary change. And almost two weeks in, I couldn't be happier. I'm sticking to the low-gylcemic index food plan with ease.
Timing and setting were right this time.
Yo Tynan,I can really relate to this since I've also been trying to implement some new habits. They can be a pain in the ass to do consistently. What I found that works for me is a simple calendar where I cross-off every day I've completed a certain habit I wanted to establish. atm I'm doing 10 mins of meditation and a journal in the evening. I'm doing great for the full three days already! hahaWhen I don't feel like it, I just tell myself to shut up and start it anyway.Anyway, take care man!
I find that my place is usually in one of two states:
When I get things neat / organized / clean, they stay that way for a while. Having things nice is an incentive to keep them that way. Once minor stuff accumulates, it seems like my brain switches to a "I don't give a damn" mode and everything goes downhill quickly. It's not conscious, but more of a "I'm in hurry -- I'll take care of that later" self talk (and I then forget about it). Eventually things get bad enough that I do a bit cleanup and the cycle starts over.
Right now I'm just trying to develop habits to slow down the cycles and reduce the extremes. If I can adjust my "this is too messy" detectors to be more sensitive, I can catch myself earlier.
I feel you
Don't let those lame rationalisations get the best of you!
I used to be incredibly good at sticking to the systems I put up. As I have gotten older, I've become less restrictive, which is a pitty, most of the times, so I'm trying to put some of my old habit building systems back in place. Right now I'm focusing on re-implementing my physical work outs after a long time of doing physical labour - giving me BS-excuses to quit working out.
How's your physicals going? I think you could benefit a lot from posting your goals and gains in here, maybe spice it up with a tiny bit of technicals or make a community post about the technicals (programs/exercises/routines whatevs).
I think I remember reading that you work out three times a week, I guess you have clearer or more concrete goals than just staying in shape?
And what about that mane, is it dead yet?
All the Best
My productivity has been abysmal for the past three days. I haven't stuck to my crossfit schedule. A couple meals weren't vegan and Ty-approved. I fell off the wagon.
Sure I was on a plane for most of one of those days and jetlagged for the others, but those are excuses and I don't want to excuse myself. Excuses don't put food on the table.
At the same time, I'm not going to dwell on on the past. I had stuff to do, I didn't get it done, and now I'm where I am. It is what it is, and all that matters now is the present.
Almost everyone I know is busy as hell. Running companies, contracting, doing creative work, and keeping a huge mix of projects going on.
Keeping busy is good, but sometimes it turns into a tragedy where you've got your head down doing work and duties, but you never get some of that real juice out of your life that you're wanting.
And many of the busy people I know -- myself included -- periodically have a day where they snap back to reality and really feel it for the first time in a while. "Oh god, I'm out of shape, my energy is low, I feel like crap, I'm not doing some of the key projects I love, I'm passing up a lot of really big opportunities stuck in the grind, I'm neglecting my hobbies and what I want to train... and for what?"
This applies just as much to entrepreneurs as people on salary, maybe even moreso. It's very easy as an entrepreneur or executive to get caught up in running around, getting stuck in the "errands" of business, dealing with what's on fire, and really neglecting the really expansionary projects that aren't urgent, your health, and maybe worst of all -- forgetting to have fun.
Is there an answer? Read on...