Habit Change

Such as are your habitual thoughts, such also will be the character of your mind; for the soul is dyed by the thoughts. Dye it then with a continuous series of such thoughts as these: for instance, that where a man can live, there he can also live well.
— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations V.16

I’ve been working on habit change for the last year or so. I’ve had some success and some failures. It has been a learning process. Here are a few of the things I learned. 


After the initial rush of success, habit change doesn’t make me a better person. I’m still the same person only doing different things. 


One change lead to another. Some habits are what are called “keystone habits”. Habits like getting enough sleep that have effects that spill over into other area of life. 


After a couple of success, the desire to always be in the habit change mode becomes stronger. This I found is a side effect of the ‘do as little as possible’ technique. i.e., only do 1 pushup a day. With such an easy goal it is so easy to develop the habit and it naturally grows.


Habits done every day or every other day are easier to establish than weekly habits. An todo list manager on my phone helps tremendously.


Some habits I’ve developed have added meaning to my life. The habit of daily journaling, daily stretching, my exercise habits are contributing in a big way to my mental and physical health.


There is always another habit to work on, incorporating or improving. Once started this process is full of potential. The only limitation is time. Habits can become so time consuming that they crowd out other activities. This is where opportunity costs mush be considered. Never simple.


Constant review and revision is what make habit change fun, worthwhile and sustainable. Not being wedded to a particular outcome. Going with the flow of life.