Advice on starting a new habit (or breaking an old one) is suspiciously similar to advice on training a dog to sit. You're the dog. Some say it takes 30 days of repetitive behavior to form a new habit. Others say it takes 3 weeks. I've read one technique that claims it only takes 2 focused hours to break or start a new habit. However, unlike the master/dog situation, when you are both master and dog the Catch-22 of blowing into your own sails becomes a problem. How do you motivate yourself to get over your lack of motivation?
Most advice basically says, roughly, "do it by doing it". They say that if you really want to do it, then you should be able to do it... but the problem with most of the new habits that I want to start is that I lack the motivation to make a big change in my life. It's difficult to motivate yourself to do something that you don't really want to do. Knowing that something would be good for you is very different from wanting to do it. How many thousands of books are basically all about starting a new habit in 30 days?
Since this is the topic of the month here, I decided to try on a couple new habits and to experiment with different tactics for getting them to stick. Here are two new habits with related 43 Things goals:
- Weaken my internet addiction. I'm not going to use the internet unless I have something to do on it. Like many people, I think I replaced my television habits with the internet. So, one day a week, I'm going to unplug from the internet.
- Enjoy my mornings. I'm going to try to enjoy my mornings more by waking up when the alarm goes off, and waking up about an hour earlier than I usually do. This has been a tough one for me in the past... I'm a chronic night person and am at my weakest in the morning. However, perhaps the fourth time is a charm on creating a pleasant morning routine.
So far, so good. This last Saturday I had one of my most productive days in a while because I didn't waste the whole day on the internet and being distracted by music, movies, etc. And the last two days I've woken up before 7:30 and had nice enjoyable mornings where I went on a walk and had a small breakfast.
Perhaps the other Robots (or even some readers) will join in by attempting to take on one of those habits that you know you want to do, but just can't get yourself to do. It's a lot easier when everyone's in it together, right?