I tried to do it. Meditate 20 minutes a day. Write in a journal by hand every morning. Exercise. Eat 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up. Write 750 words a day. Work on my book edits. Write in this blog twice a week. Read more books. Read more articles. Organize my life. Get up from my desk and stretch every hour. Practice gratitude.
Of course I had a meltdown. There’s enough hours in the day for all that, but good lord I do not have the brain capacity.
The Good Habit Overload didn’t start all at once, which is how I got in so deep. One habit crept in at a time, before the one before it had really taken hold, until I had a morning checklist that was too long to look at, let alone expect my fallible human self to always complete. So I had one or two good days, checking everything off in an orderly fashion, feeling great.
Then the next day I woke up late, or was feeling off, or my brain just would not start. And one thing didn’t get done or another.
And then at night I felt disappointed at that one lingering, undone habit, and vowed to do better the next day.
And then I didn’t.
And then it snowballed, until I was doing no habits, because what was the point of doing just one if I had ten more to go after that. The hill was too steep and the summit was too far away.
So, the other week, I declared habit bankruptcy. My little daily habit tracker at HabitRPG got wiped. I started over. Three habits: Exercise, Write Something, and Study Japanese.
This week I added: Take your medicine. Not because I need to develop that habit, but specifically because I’ve already got it down. Now there is one box I can easily check, and it makes all the other boxes easier.
I’ve got other habits I want to add. I do want to meditate, and I do want to watch my protein and veggie intake, and I do want to be more consistent about dog training and stretching after workouts and yes even posting to this blog.
But I also don’t want another habit meltdown, and if that means I let things slide, then they slide. Anyway, isn’t this what I wanted when I was a kid, imagining life as a grownup? Sometimes you just gotta have cereal for dinner to have the energy to keep the rest of it together.