A few months ago, in an effort to get back into building things, I committed to writing some code everyday. Last month, I chose to build a writing habit. I somehow managed to build both habits into my day, often doing them together in the form of this blog.
Based on these results, I became optimistic about my ability to build habits. In weekly planning, I became intentional about which habits I’m choosing to start, edit or remove. In the last few weeks, I tried to build in more habits into my days and weeks. I’ve attempted to track what I eat and drink, read before I go to sleep, meditate in the mornings, and start a bodyweight workout routine.
I quickly overcommitted, and failed at establishing any one of them consistently.
I wanted to share some observations of my own behaviour:
- Habits need to be built slower to really stick. I need to give myself time to get adjusted to the new behaviours and find efficiencies. Essentially, I can’t go from building 1 new habit a month to 3.
- I need to better understand and most importantly, stick to the ideal times for a habit. I mostly write at night but sometimes will also start a post in the daytime. This will obviously take away from any daytime habits I’m trying to build.
- I underestimated initial “setup time”. It’s obvious but worth nothing - writing every day requires a different setup than meditation or working out. I didn’t consider the initial barrier to entry for the new habits.
The theme of overcommitment is common and also applies to discrete tasks (something I observed in tracking to-do completion rates). While I think it’s possible to build in these new behaviours, I need to be much more intentional about how and when it’s done.
I’ll share more progress as I continue to build these habits into my daily and weekly routine.