You’ve heard of resolutions before, right? I don’t do resolutions.
I create habits.
And even if it’s not a habit yet, I call it a habit, because I have a far better chance of sticking to something long enough for it to become a habit if I call it a habit from the start than if I call it a resolution.
So I’ve created a new habit, and it’s this: if I’m stuck or stressed around anything, whether I’m stuck with a technology problem or a financial problem or a relational problem, or if I just feel stuck or stressed, I’ve told myself I’m going to do one of three things:
- I’m going to go for a walk;
- I’m going to go to the gym;
- or I’m going to go to an AA meeting.
It’s kind of a game I’m playing with myself, something to switch me out of the place I’m stuck in. Because no amount of me staring at the computer is going to solve any technical problem. Sure, I can troubleshoot, but once I reach a certain point where I’ve hit a wall, continuing to force it won’t accomplish anything.
That’s the point where I’m going to do one of these three things. I’m moving my body, I’m being with other people, and I’m getting strong.
With this new habit, I’m going to be so strong by the end of 2023! And I’m probably going to have plowed through a whole bunch of stressors and challenges, because spiraling is something I’m really accustomed to doing.
Which brings me to another tip:
I was practicing this new habit by going for a walk after I’d hit a productivity wall, and there was so much water from the rain that the path was getting really muddy. I tried walking on the edges, but it wasn’t making a difference, to the point that I was ready to just turn around and give up.
Then it dawned on me…
I can go off path.
So I did. Just like a tiny bit into the woods, and I made my own path and came out on the other side to an incredible view of the water.
It’s an example of just how much there is to be gained by creating this new habit. I get unstuck in the immediate sense, right? My initial problem may not be solved, but my mindset has changed.
This whole habit will take me about a half an hour, and I think I’ll be a whole lot more productive when I get back to my desk.
Let me know in the comments—what are some new habits you’re creating for yourself?