Habit Forming at 30

My daily writing on this place, where likely no one reads my random and incomplete thoughts (maybe I should add pictures?) is part of a year of habit forming I’ve challenged myself to now that I‘m at this arbitrary age where everything feels like it is ending.

This is day 3 of habit creation #2 (second month of 30 for me): write a post every day on medium.

Why? Because it is an accessible challenge. Because writing is good for the psyche, it helps you work through dilemmas which are really anxieties. Because medium seems cool to me, and because I supposedly have a lot to say. Because it’s a positive change; the start of something new.

I already want to quit. What am I doing here anyway? This isn’t my best writing. No one is reading, and I get no praise. And am I really using my time well?

But that’s how habit forming works. You start a day or two of a new habit. You do everything right: tell everyone about it! (I’ve done that here, even if no one is reading). You keep in accomplish-able, set a goal (30 days of this), try to do it at the same time each day (after work), and give yourself a reward (snacks while I write). But then — just three days in — it bends your mind in half, against itself.

Building habits surface all of your worst insecurities and fears. Those insecurities and fears try ever random thought in their power to make you give up on the challenge before you lose to it.

Habits are tricky that way. But if you’re sly enough to recognize the negative thoughts when forming a habit you can reverse them.

Today, I didn’t want to write. I wanted to exercise, or watch TV, or stay at work later, or pack for that trip I have tomorrow. Heck, I probably should have been doing all of those things (except for the TV watching). But habits aren’t what you should do. They’re making what you’ve decided to do automatic.

Today, I made what I decided to do automatic by cracking a beer, turning on Spotify, and sucking it up to write about why I didn’t want to sit down and write.

And every day from here on out will mostly get easier. That’s how building habits works. Day 1–2 is brilliant, Day 3 almost shuts off the entire electrical panel, and by the end of week one, you can see the glimmer of a habit.

The end of your goal is in sight. Even if no one is reading. It’s still there.

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