Showing posts from January 12, 2020

Chapter 17 and Accountability Partners

I did a poor job of eating enough yesterday, and ate lunch too late, which postponed dinner, and neither meal was terribly big. As a result I lost 1.2 pounds and am down to 121 pounds this morning. I made myself eat breakfast, and also have had lunch, and have planned a sizable dinner to make sure I eat enough calories today. I still am avoiding added sugar, so hooray for that part of the challenge! Onto the book: Chapter 17 is all about increasing the pain attached to a bad habit to make it unlikely to repeat. The more immediate and great the pain is, the greater effort you would take to avoid the habit in the future. Credit card companies want you to stop paying your bill late, so they institute late fees. Another way to institute immediate reaction to your habits is to have an accountability partner, and having a habit contract with an appropriate cost of breaking a habit. Chapter 17 summary: The inversion of the 4th Law of Behavior Change is make it unsatisfying . We are

Habit tracking and Chapter 16 of Atomic Habits

Today, I'm looking forward to a quiet day. I've had my two cups of coffee, read chapters 16 and 17, and after I finish my blog post, I'm going to go to the gym for my leg and core routine. For the rest of today, I'll be playing Minecraft, piano, eating two nutritious meals, drinking tea, and starting another book. I'll finish Atomic Habits either tomorrow or Sunday, and go through some of the exercises from earlier in the book, like the Habit Scorecard, where I'm sure I missed plenty of habits the first time around. I lost another half pound, and am down to 122.2, but the difference today is that it seems like my gut has gotten smaller. I'm not sure if it's actual fat loss or what is going on, but I certainly feel like I look better. If it's true, and I manage to continue to have less fat in my midsection by the end of the month, I might have to rethink my post-challenge diet. Previously, I was looking forward to February 1st and going downtown to

New Neighbors and Chapter 15

The apartment below me that has been vacant for three and a half months is no longer vacant. They're moving in right now. I'm hoping the new tenant(s) are as quiet as the previous tenant - sadly I know there's no way they would be quieter than no one at all. I'm sure this experience will give me five months to see if I want to continue to live here (because it is so quiet) or with the change in tenancy, I'll finally go buy a house. Work was quiet - half the department was either working from home or just took the day off, all due to an illness that's going around. I'm hoping to not catch it. I'll be mostly laying low this weekend, sleeping in, reading, writing, and playing piano. No need to go outside except to have coffee with a friend of mine, Saturday morning. Beyond that, I have plenty of food and drink here, and I'll stay in while the weather turns cold and Wake County gets sick. I haven't watched TV in over a week, and to be honest, not

Habits: How to make them easy (Chapters 11 - 14)

My before-sleep routine didn't give me the usual response of falling asleep. Generally, I start preparing for bed at 9:30. I listen to a guided meditation for 15 minutes, and am asleep by 10, give or take 15 minutes. Last night, I did the same routine, and ended up staring at the ceiling for over three hours. A headache cropped up that continued to get worse while I tried to stay relaxed. At 1:15am, I tried to email my department, telling them that I'll likely be late, and the email client wouldn't send the email. It just added to my miserable and confused state, and I ended up emailing my manager some mostly coherent email about insomnia and a headache and that I'd be late, as less than five hours of sleep means I will be useless at work, but if I could get at least 6, I'll be able to do more than just stare at my computer screen. I fell asleep somewhere between 1:30 and 2, and woke up at 7:40, feeling mostly human. Ended up needing the extra hours of sleep as

Chapters 8 through 10 and a successful set of habits

I think I'm in the habit of writing daily, as I've been doing so now since last August of last year. I like writing, but especially when I have something to write about. It's one reason why I make sure I do something worth noting! Chapters 8, 9 and 10 dealt with making a habit attractive. Chapter 8, How to Make a Habit Irresistible, summary: The 2nd Law of Behavior Change is make it attractive . The more attractive an opportunity is, the more likely it is to become habit-forming. Habits are a dopamine-driven feedback loop. When dopamine rises, so does our motivation to act. It is the anticipation of a reward - not the fulfillment of it - that gets us to take action. The greater the anticipation, the greater the dopamine spike. Temptation bundling is one way to make your habits more attractive. The strategy is to pair an action you want  to do with an action you need  to do. Chapter 9, The Role of Family and Friends in Shaping Your Habits, summary: The c

Changing a habit from Time based to Event based and Atomic Habits Chapter 7

After my daily gym challenge ended, I figured it would be easy to get a three or four per week gym habit. Or not. Twice. I've only managed to go to the gym twice in two weeks. And, I was happier when I did the gym every day, even when it made things a little difficult for social engagements. But I find myself saying "Well, I only want to go three times a week, and I could go tomorrow instead." Since that's clearly not working, I need to change the habit. I know that the habit of "After work, I go to the gym" was successful. I'll change my ambiguous "Three times a week, I'll go to the gym" to "If I have no social engagements in the evening, I will go to the gym after work." This means I will go to the gym on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday of this week. Since I almost always have Fridays off, I will go to the gym after my two cups of coffee or tea per my December Friday habit. Of course, it doesn't help that the

Chapter 6 and recognizing another bad habit

I had a busy day of what looked like not much. Took out the trash. Did laundry. Ran the dishwasher. Watched another module of Practical SQL Server Security, Compliance and Auditing. Drank coffee before 12, then tea after that. I read the rest of the book that I put down a few weeks ago, called "The Obstacle Is the Way". While I still agree with my original thoughts, I found it a bit more helpful this time around due to an issue that recently arose in my life. Things will always get in my way, and by being calm and having a plan to continually move forward despite having set backs will allow me to get over the obstacle and flourish because of it. I forgot how during the weekends I tend to snack in order to avoid doing things. Don't want to write in the blog? Well, you shouldn't do something when you're hungry... and I am a little bit hungry. (Goes to eat two bowls of cereal.) Time to finally turn off the TV and do the laundry? Well, it is 7PM, and I should eat di