Habit XVI

by zenquaker

It’s been about five or six weeks since I started work on my habit of getting up on time, and I thought I’d post a quick update on where I am.

The getting up on time is going okay. I am a bit disturbed that I have lost track of how long I’ve been working on this habit. I guess I should look back at my own gorram blog to see (cool, it’s been six weeks not five). The Simple Method recommends four weeks for most habits, but for tougher habits it recommends six weeks to make sure it’s sunk in. I’m not sure getting up on time has quite sunk in. I have the ritual, and that is mostly working okay. Hitting the snooze button and rolling over on my back is pretty automatic now, although every one and then I hit the wrong button by accident. Fox has learned his part of the habit and climbs on my chest to be petted (unless he’s mad at me). This all works well to have me reasonably conscious when the second alarm hits, but at that point it is still a significant effort to actually get up. Maybe it always will be, or maybe it will take years to become automatic. It certainly took years for the non-smoking and non-drinking to become ingrained, and I back slid on the drinking one and half times. We’ll just have to keep at it and see. (Looking back at what I wrote when I started this I think the thing I need to remember is “one day at a time.”)

Since the time is up for the getting up, I’m fleshing out the playing Chess. I’ve been managing to play a game every other day, despite continuing anxiety issues. This week I am playing through games from Logical Chess by Chernev on the off days. I’m looking at that as a way to ease into playing a game every day. I will start the game every day either next week on the week after. My game play is still spotty. I am not taking the time to look for tactics and threats, which is disappointing. While my performance in tactics training has plateaued for now,  it is clear that I am not applying what I have learned to my actual games.

I am a bit conflicted as to where to go next. Given the continuing effort required to get up and the continuing anxiety with playing Chess, I am worried about pushing too hard. On the other hand, the next habit I want to work on is spending more time with my cat, Fox. I realize that according to the master plan, the next habit should be working on projects like Visualizer or teaching myself web development. However, if anyone deserves my time it is Fox, especially with all the help he’s giving me to get up in the morning (on top of that all these habits of actually doing stuff in the evening is taking away from time I used to spend with him). So my feeling of responsibility is conflicting with my fear of pushing too hard. Knowing myself I have to doubt that the fear of pushing it too hard stands a chance of winning that battle.