Chance to catch up

As far as I know, I'm between projects at work. I fixed a report that had an issue, but no one was reporting it. I sent files to an external client, and until I get told that I'm needed for something, I guess I'll do some training in Pluralsight.

And, I just got picked to do a full stack refresh, so I guess my afternoon is no longer free. I'll take lunch and read chapter 3 in Atomic Habits. This evening, I'll be hanging out with one of my friends.

Chapter 3 discussed how habits are created and sustained despite the person wanting to stop a habit, or start a good habit.

The Chapter Summary:

  • A habit is a behavior that has repeated enough times to become automatic.
  • The ultimate purpose of habits is to solve the problems of life with as little energy and effort as possible.
  • Any habit can be broken down into a feedback loop that involves four steps: cue, craving, response and reward.
  • The Four Laws of Behavioral Change are a simple set of rules we can use to build better habits. They are (1) make it obvious, (2) make it attractive, (3) make it easy, (4) make it satisfying.

Since I want to be a musician, I think one of the easiest habits to start would be playing piano each day. Right now my piano is not in an obvious spot, even though it is in my living room. A more obvious spot would be to swap my coffee table between the couch and TV for my piano bench and piano. Yes, that would make watching TV more difficult, but that is one of the habits I have that I want to break. So, I'm also making the TV watching habit more difficult by putting a keyboard in the way. James Clear also talks about to break a habit, just make one (or more) of the four Laws in the opposite direction. Make it hidden, make it unattractive, make it difficult, or make it unsatisfying. My TV watching is starting to get less satisfying anyway, but the inertia of sitting on the couch and watching mildly educational television is still stronger than sitting at the piano and playing.

Since I don't host friends very often, I can move the coffee table closer to the TV, and move the keyboard and chair where the coffee table used to be. I'll move the TV remotes next to the TV, and now the habit of watching TV is less attractive and more difficult as well as less satisfying. I'll still be able to sit on the couch and read, one of the habits I want to do more.

Creating my piano playing habit:
The keyboard and chair being in the middle of the living room will make them obvious and easy to play. I have plenty of books already and chose two fake books to order soon. I'm hoping that it'll make it more satisfying, though I already know that playing Hanon is satisfying.

Discouraging my TV watching habit:
I guess I can watch my TV by sitting on my chair, but that is not nearly as comfortable as the couch, and I'd have to watch it through the music stand and possibly part of my coffee table. Not attractive or easy or satisfying.

I'll change the living room configuration and see if this truly works, or if I end up doing some other bad habit!


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