Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Habits: It's about how hard you can get hit

Do you have a dream?
What would you do tomorrow, if all your appointments were cancelled?
What did you do on your last day off?

These days a lot of books on self-development are being pushed onto the market. And many of them are about habits and what you can/should/have to do in order to achieve goals and lead a happier life. Recently I've had a couple of weeks off. I am the type of person who never runs out of things to do, who never gets bored, who never sits at home on his goddamn couch and watches whatever on TV. I love life. I am riddled with dreams. But what did I do? I slept a lot. Got up late, ate, watched videos, read blogs about how life could be, cooked, ate, watched more videos, ate, slept again. I did not even get started on living my dreams. Back when I was busy I'd have laughed at myself. Then I realized how important healthy habits are to be successful. Without them I would just float from day to day without getting things done.

So I made a plan.

I called it the 1-hour-programm. It was a simple as it sounds: I just decided to do one specific thing one hour a day. In my case it was 20 minutes meditation, 10 minutes reading and 30 minutes sports (bodyweight exercises). I resolved to keep "my hour" as a daily habit for 2 months. Even if I should decide to scrap one or all of those three things, I would have to wait until the end of those 2 months. Guess what? It didn't work. First I thought that limiting the time to 2 months would make it easier for me to stick to my plan and commit 100%. But it didn't help. On some days I just "did not find the time" to do it. Which means I did not plan it properly or I just found other things to be more important. But then I saw a video of Tim Ferris, where he explains you should not expect to be "on track" all of the time.

That was the complete opposite of my approach!

Before that I just compared a new habit with brushing your teeth: There's no way you're not going to do it. But then again: Everyone has probably skipped brushing one's teeth at least a few times. Important is not the fact, that you skip it, but rather what happens afterwards. If you're really serious about it, you will not skip it twice in a row. It's not about staying on track, it's about getting back on track.

If your dream is to become a world champion boxer, you don't envision never being hit, do you? Of course you want to be the one who hits the other guy more often then he can hit you. But in the end it is just as Rocky says:

It ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward.

So the next time you skip a new habit: That's a hit. Can you take it?

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