So you have taken a hard look at how you currently utilize your time. It’s time to address those pesky bad habits. Some examples are excessive social media, phone and screen time, recreational drug use, pornography, and especially working too many hours at a shitty job.
It is time to commit to and to execute on the commitments to interjecting new good habits into your life.
Positive habits such as physical exercise, creative production, family time, community engagement, and learning all have tons of benefits that will pay dividends in comparison to the minimal positive gain received from indulging in bad habits. The minimal serotonin and dopamine doses a Facebook like or purchasing something contribute to one’s happiness and well-being are short lived and fleeting. The overdose received when looking in the mirror and saying, “DAMN!” because your body game is on point will outlive the former. It will also creep into other aspects of your life like your energy, personality, and sexual agility to name a few.
I’m thirty-six and I’m still figuring this out often.
Once we’ve established that we are going to try something new or previously under-attempted we have to set a habit into motion. We will use writing and working out as examples.
The first time I sat down to write and was “uninspired” I sat there telling myself the cliche “I have writer’s block.” I had to push through the discomfort of whatever block I was putting up. Perhaps I was uninspired, or I was tired, or I was distracted, or I just wasn’t in the mood. This is all bullshit we spout off when avoiding executing a commitment and instead we procrastinate or avoid the task outright. Most likely we will slip back into our comfort zone of a negative habit.
Our time is too valuable for this type of behavior. Work takes up one third of five to six days a week. Approximately eight hours a day are spent sleeping. Even including day preparation and meals there is only eight hours left for personal time. This personal time is where we are afforded the chance to better ourselves and our legacy. Inversely this is also the opportunity to waste time on a couch or in a store.
To break this writing habit road block I was putting in my own way I had to muscle through and force myself to start writing using stream of consciousness. Other times I started writing rap lyrics to random instrumentals to complete my daily commitment to writing. A good portion of the time I was writing things that I may never look at again. Once in a while I would produce something inspirational. These times create waves that positively direct the trajectory of my existence either through emotional improvement or gained skills at the minimum. At best it will give me business venture ideas or unlock missing insights to other aspects of my life. Now I’m writing a blog and starting to consider my future from different angles. I ask myself where this is heading yet I trust the positivity of my energy and efforts. So far I have only seen positive changes through introducing new positive habits.
Fitness is also an absolute must for anyone who wants to improve their life. Exercise absolutely requires forming habits. One will not gain massive biceps, a slim waist, or a toned booty by just showing up to Y once and working out for two hours and then going to Burger King right after. That’s preposterous.
I’ve heard it said that twenty-one days make a habit. I’ve seen it take only one or two days to break one. If so back to your fat pants, friends.
You need to show up like three or four times just to feel comfortable around the weights, machines, track, punching bags, etc. I recommend getting yourself a friend or family member that can act as a workout mentor to help with your form and game-planning your exercise regiment. Comment or message me anytime if you need suggestions or recommendations. I’d love to help you if you need it.
After getting sore a few times and sweaty a bunch more you’ll work out (pardon the pun show) which exercises you love and which you struggle with. At this point you have created the habit. By now you are on the other side of the coin where not working out for a bit will create the same proportionate negative feelings as the discomfort you felt at starting the habit from not working out. Recognize and react to this feeling by keeping a regular workout (and rest) regiment. You’ll be hot and jacked like me in no time.
Be aware it is still that easy to stop your positive habit at any time to make excuses and fall back on the negative track. At times it will be hard and it will be uncomfortable. Some days you won’t see results and others you will feel like you’re not in the mood. I urge you to push through! This is just like when you are continuing to exercise immediately after deciding to push through when you though you had expended all your energy. At these times you will see your biggest gains or losses depending on what you are looking for. I personally love the fat burning zone. I feel like a warrior every time I finish a workout that I pushed through.
The positive habits also allow me still indulge my most guilty pleasure in moderation. I have a sweet tooth. When I’m crushing crunches with a forty-five pound plate, pressing it at the top of the sit up, I can justify that occasional ice cream sundae after a couple pizza slices. The indulgences come in moderation, not the positive habits. The positive habits come like waves into your life and wash the negative out to sea and leave only a much healthier and better you.
I urge you to rip the band aid off and immediately cut some bad habits from what limited time and attention capacity you possess. This sounds hard, but I assure you it’s not. I didn’t want to drink my calories anymore, so I went cold turkey on soda years ago for a New Years Resolution. I love Resolutions because they are an excellent reason to eliminate a bad habit or create a new positive habit . I cannot even begin to describe how many Mountain Dews, Dr. Peppers, Rockstar Punches, Surges, Powerades, or Vitamin Water XXXs I was drinking. Since that New Year’s I may have had three cans in the past five years. I’ve liked it less and less each time I’ve chosen to indulge. Now I do not even crave them and my tastes are changing.
Recently I have beginning to look for ways to make my coffee habit less caloric as well. I’ve taken to drinking Americanos and drip coffees with only a teaspoon of sugar in stead of mochas and lattes and anything that calls for whip cream. My wife says I like my coffee bitter like I am. I’m adjusting a negative habit that I’ve chosen not to eliminate outright and make it slightly less harmful and negative. It is just a different habit when I order and prepare my coffees. I’m saving money and maintaining my weight.
It seems like a lot to ask of ourselves, but removing negative habits and introducing positive ones needs to happen with urgency. Any adult that is grinding away toward their American Dream or retirement will tell you it’s never enough and time disappears too quickly. Ask any co-worker on a Monday morning how their weekend was and they will tell you it was too short. That’s because on those precious one, two, or if we are blessed with a holiday, three days off the hobbies, art, sex, socializing, travel, and adventure occur. It is also when the over-indulgence and excess thrives. Trust me training for an obstacle course race or writing a novel will do so much more for you than binging on hours of TV or Oreo cookies ever will.
Acknowledgements to my lovely wife and mother-in-law for helping me with the title of the post and again for helping support my journey toward a more positively balanced me.