I’m now entering the fourth week of working on the habit of playing with my cat Fox in the evening, So I thought I would give an update on my habit formation. In some sense it’s a bit early. Four weeks is a good time to work on an easy habit if there are no problems. However, there were some problems with this one, as I missed a couple days in the second week. However, while I am perhaps not fully trained in this habit, Fox definitely is. He knows that evenings after I work on the computer is play time. If I forget, he makes sure to remind me.
So next up in the general plan is exercise. That may be a tough one, given how many times I have tried to start a regular exercise routine and failed. So it may go to six weeks, but we’ll see how things go. More and more I am feeling this is important, so I want to make it work. My record with the Simple Method for habit formation is pretty good, though, so I am confident.
The next habit after that was supposed to be doing project work in the evenings. I am going to drop that from the plan, however. I felt I was pushing too hard working on the Chess in the evenings, and I am feeling noticeably better since I scaled that back. I think adding project work would put me back in the pushing too hard zone. I do have more time in the evenings, when I’m not getting into lengthy discussions of programming methodologies, so I will just work on it when I feel up to it, and do my project work more on the weekends.
So, what’s next then? I’m thinking of getting back on track with the personal informatics stuff I tried out oh so long ago. The lesson the was that trying to do it all at once was too much. So my new plan is to ease in to it one habit at a time, just as the Simple Method recommends. Start with recording the transit information. Just treat that as one habit. Then treat food information as another habit, and hard core time tracking on the computer as another. When I originally set up my personal data tracking, I had nine different categories of tracking. Hopefully it won’t take nine habits to cover all of that, because I want to have all the habits in place before the end of the year. That way I could get full data for 2013, or at least be ready by my birthday at the end of February to get full data for my IY 2013 (Ichabod Year 2013, it’s sort of like Fiscal Year 2013, but later and cooler).
The thing is, I don’t want to do all data tracking habits. I still have several habits to improve my general health that I want to work on: improve my tooth brushing, eat a full breakfast, use the calories from the full breakfast to quit soda, become celibate, more household cleaning. So I figure I will alternate a data collection habit with a general health habit. That only gives me four data collection habits before the end of the year. So I will have to come up with a plan to get all of the data collection tasks into four habits.