Habit Formation Experiment

A Very Late, and Brief Update

I’ve taken the last week or so off from the habit experiment. What started as a personal break eventually became an opportunity to reflect on the next stage of the experiment.

The last few updates revolved around finding methods for alleviating the strain in an effort to escalate my productive capacity. But it was hard to think about solutions while being deep in the weeds.

I felt like I needed to take a step back to look at the big picture and the time off was interesting to say the least. What started as a desire for tactical reflection became an experience of existential reflection (somewhat dramatic I know).

Without the consistent process honed over months, I felt derailed on many levels: emotional, physical, and mental — all of which impacted my productivity.

Initially I took the derailment in stride, life after all is simply a series of perspectives strung together that require only the act of experiencing — but what really hit me was the realization that the person I am now is entirely different from the person I was 7 months ago.

A routine that’s gradually developed over a long period of time, whether positive or negative, silently dismantles and reassembles your entire being.

This imbalance created internal tension, knowing that the process I built was meticulously created for my longterm goals, I felt that the brief reversion was in itself an act of self-sabotage. It literally made me feel sick to my stomach.

What started as a search for scaling solutions unfortunately became an existential dilemma but out of every experience is a learning lesson. I’m glad I went through this experience or I wouldn’t have the perspective of ups, downs, old, and new. Here are the three things helping me steer the ship back:

  1. Acceptance
  2. Non-Resistance
  3. Self-Compassion

Acceptance

Things go bad, things go good, things go ‘eh’. There’s no reason to feel any different when it’s one or the other. Not accepting is in turn resisting. Resisting in turn makes it difficult for you to move forward.

Non-Resistance

Procrastination is a terribly attractive mistress. When you resist the movement of life, things pile up and eventually clog the drains.

Letting go and getting swept up into the flow is a good thing, as long as you’re putting in the effort to steer your direction rather than being pushed along by the current.

“Hurrying and delaying are alike ways of resisting the present.” -Alan Watts

Self-Compassion

Sometimes we forget to love ourselves. For some of us the biggest critic of ourselves is ourselves. When life moves at a million miles, moving with it can get tiring sometimes — don’t beat yourself up when you need a break.

Beating yourself up is the equivalent of donning invisible chains, no one put them on you but yourself and no one can take them off but yourself.