Hitting the Wall

by Joseph Kwon in


In an earlier post I wrote about how to form a new habit by strategically breaking all the rules. For anyone who's ever adopted a new habit, there comes a moment, more like several moments, when you enounter fierce, internal rebellion. Not a fleeting buckling of the knees, but rather gale force winds threatening to blow you off your feet to even further from where you started. So how can you combat this powerful resistance?

The solution is novelty. Just like we broke the rules to keep the habit going, there are EZPZ ways to use variety to renew your motivation.

EZPZ ways to bring novelty to your habit

1. Change location or timing. If you are feeling burnt out and unmotivated from the same routine, switching up the where or when can give you a much-needed boost. Switch from doing it at home to work. If home works best, try a different room with a different view. If you normally write at the coffee shop, try going to the library or park. The great thing about this is it doens't have to be a permanent of even long-term change. Just one or two sessions from a different perspective may be all you need to get you back on track.

2. Change the style. Can't bear the thought of another salsa class? Sign up for tango. Dreading another night at the gym? Try indoor rock climbing.

3. Planned moratorium. No guilt is the key. And right back at it.
I used to work with a colleague whose mother had "quit" smoking for over 20 years. Her secret was that every Christmas, she allowed herself exactly 1 cigarette at Christmas. Now while this might not comply with her health or life insurer's definition of being a non-smoker, in a way this is a brilliant technique. She knows she can and will have exactly one a year at a given time and date and no more. 
Ken story about cake for dieters

For a bit of inspiration, don't let this new habit you've worked so hard on so far bite the dust!

Next post next Saturday, 6:30 a.m.