Habit XIII

by zenquaker

Wow! Five days since I last posted, no wonder my views are way down. So, let’s do an update on the habit formation. It sort of feels like the whole habit thing is over because the online course is over. But so far the Simple Method is working, and as long as it keeps working I am going to keep working on forming new habits. I’m assuming that eventually I will run out of room for habits, but I can use the method to change habits around as my life changes, and some of the habits I’m working on will make room for more habits.

So where am I on the first habit. As I explained in the last habit post a couple weeks ago, I’m currently working on half tactics problems and half writing flash cards from two books I have read. That’s going like gangbusters. I’m working on Amateur’s Mind right now, which is a bit lighter than My System, and I would normally expect to be done Friday night. I’m not sure how the Thanksgiving holiday will affect things, but even if I lost two days of work to it, I would still be done by next Sunday. Which means that Monday the 28th I will start the weekly plan for Chess training as outlined in the last habit post. Now, I’m only doing 20 minutes for each half of the training at this point, and I think I will just go ahead and bump it up to thirty minutes for each half on the 28th.

I’ve looked into the materials I will need for my Chess training plan. I determined that I only need one book right now, so I ordered that one (How to Reassess Your Chess). The post office was kind enough to screw up the delivery. Yesterday afternoon I realized I hadn’t gotten the book yet, so I checked the tracking information online. Lo and behold, it said they attempted delivery Friday (the day before). But I didn’t get any notice of a delivery attempt Friday. I didn’t get any mail Friday. So I checked the mail box, and there’s Friday’s mail, with a delivery attempt notice. So the mailman got to my place after I got home from work, but was unable to knock loud enough for me to here him? In a one bedroom condo? The only time I have anything really making noise is when I watch videos or play Wii, and that’s ten feet from the door. I can’t figure it out, but I have a half day Wednesday, so I’ll pick it up then.

Tomorrow (Monday) marks the start of the third week of my eat an apple in the morning habit. I’ve managed to do it every day for the past two weeks with only minor problems here and there. I have dropped trying to do any sort of positive reinforcement. The only things I could think of either were counter productive or involved changing other habits. Besides, I like apples. I’m just letting the apple be the positive reinforcement. The one thing that has been bothering me is the disposal of the apple. I keep throwing out the core, but it seems that animals might make more efficient use of the remains. But I’m resistant to just chucking it on the ground because there is so much garbage on the ground, and it seems like the harbinger of our society’s inevitable decay. I mean, if we can’t even properly dispose of our own garbage (note that properly does not include “in the recycling bin”), how are we going to deal with ten trillion in debt?

The third week of the apple habit also marks the first escalation of the habit: drinking a glass of water after eating the apple. That may be a bit tougher. I don’t like water as much as I like apples. We’ll see what happens.

That means the third habit (studying flashcards while on or waiting for the bus) will start December 5th. I’ve started thinking about the planning for that one. Okay, I just started thinking about the planning as I was typing this paragraph. I’m thinking since there are two periods of waiting for the bus and two periods of riding the bus, I could just add one period each week. Which would put off using my smart phone in the cold for as long as possible. Maybe I should get some of those capacitive gloves I saw in the mall last week. I am again not sure about positive reinforcement. Maybe some generalized positive reinforcement could be figured out, which could work across multiple habits. All I can think of right now is adding money to a pot, but I’m not sure what I would do with the money at the end of the habit.

Whatever, I’ve got two weeks to think about it.

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