On Change

I’m something of a self-help junkie. I love reading self-improvement blogs, books, courses, all that. I’m almost obsessed with self-improvement. Almost. If I was obsessed I feel like I’d be a more improved person. Maybe that’s even a mark of a person who truly believes in continuous improvement, who knows?

Right now, it’s 5:20am, and I am wide awake and feeling productive. I slept for like six and a half hours and woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep, so instead of just goofing off on my phone for three hours and then finally falling asleep again for an hour until I have to be awake like I usually do, I decided to just get up and do something with my morning. This feels great.  If only I could make this a habit.

That’s the thing, habits are what will determine what you really do with your time. It’s easy to day “I don’t feel like it”, or “I don’t wanna” if it’s not part of your core actions. But if it is, it’s second nature, and only very special or extreme circumstances will stop you.

For example, I keep a journal. I have ten years worth of daily journals, and I’ve been writing them even longer than that, but I lost the earlier journals (probably for the best since I was in middle school). To many people, taking pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, and recording their thoughts every day sounds like a good idea, but too tough to do. It isn’t easy, especially at first. But if you get to the point where you’ve ingrained it into your core actions, then you don’t even think about the effort you’re putting in. At that point, it becomes effortless to keep up with some habit you need to do every day. Now, I’m not going to talk about how you form a habit, because that’s something I’m still working on myself. In my experience, it does have to begin small, it has to be something you have to make yourself get used to, and it has to be something you can make yourself remember. But beyond that, I’m no expert.

The way I see it, it becomes impossible to form a direct habit when your goal is something that requires you to take small actions every day that aren’t so repetitive, such as meeting new people, or going to more events. To handle these, you would have to form habits that make you become more like someone who does meet new people or goes to more events, such as starting a conversation with someone every time you notice a certain thing about them, or going to a weekly or monthly event.

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