Observations to date on Wellness experiment 1.1 : So I have been reading a few experiments about willpower and motivation… and how doing well in one area can make you more competent in others. Interestingly enough the strength model of will power was an interesting read… although the most important premise of it was completely debunked (or at least to my satisfaction). I might write up a summary about it.
I will say that seeing the crosses on the calendar have made it easy for me to want to continue posting in a regular basis, and it really makes me wonder if perhaps I am not ready to add something else to the balance. I will say that it has become surprisingly cathartic to face some of my own demons in posting, I suppose that is why I am thinking perhaps I am ready to add more to the mix (perhaps this was the first step in transtheoretical model of behavior change that I was reading about)
For the concrete: I HAVE posted daily for the last 15 days, and I dont foresee this being any different in the remaining 15 days of this experiment. It has been rather easy (especially since I narrowed it down to only one task), and the visibility of the calendar… and the fact that I pass by it several times reminds me that I have something to do.
NOTE: if a PDF is available I will post a link to it, like I did on the strength model of will power and on the counter to the strength model.
So, I have been doing a lot of thinking about what my next experiment will be… I would like to work on my will power, and food… so if possible I will combine the two. Unfortunately, as I have learned its hard to do experiments with confounding variables. so I might try something else. I am going to check at the local library ( they have access to every scientific article known to man, as far as I know…) and see if I cant find a few articles to inspire me for an experiment set up.
Update: as far as experiment 1.1, it seems to be going well… I have found myself thinking about it a lot, but it doesnt stress me out because if I exercise, if I eat well or not etc (which I try to anyways)… it doesnt stress me out (as did version 1.0) of this experiment to the point of feeling a bit overwhelmed. Yup I said it, overwhelmed. So at the end of 30 days, I will add something else… so far… so well 🙂
Observations: Well placing the calendar on a more visible place (like I did the first time, but this time even MORE visible) has made it much more easy to remember to do what I am supposed to do. Simplifying the to do, to just one has also made it much easier to concentrate on doing what I am supposed to do.
So, it seems that I am terrible at doing 4 things at one time, and making sure those habits all stick at once… SO… I am going to start simple and stick to one. While I DID start C25K today, exercise will not be part of this experiment.
Observations so far: yes, the calendar strategy did nag at me (still does) but first of all, I didnt set it in a place where I would have to look it in the eye so to speak so, it has been semi neglected… although it has nagged at me like the heart beat nagged at one of my favorite protagonists via Poe (tell tale heart).
Modification to experiment: so like previously stated I will be concentrating on posting on this blog period. I MIGHT add to the list after 30 days.
Edit 6/26/2012: here is what the first draft looked like… as you can see it didnt go very well
Failed General experiment 1.0
Problem: If you are anything like me, its often easy to start something and even keep it going for a while. Somewhere someone in a gym will say that habit is one of those really important things to being healthy, so…
Hypothesis: if I try the Jerry Seinfeld method of maintaining habits I will improve how regularly I do the things I struggle with somehow, and develop habits I want to keep in the long run.
Method: Since my printer decided it doesnt want to print a calendar (or anything else for that matter) I went ahead and took a sheet of paper and with paper and crayons (yes I have a set) I went ahead and marked off 30 days. At the end of thirty days I will evaluate how effective it was for me in helping me “keep the chain” going on the calender by not missing a day of set activities. I have selected four activities that I have not been very good at maintaining in the long long run to develop during a 30 day trial period:
1. Exercise habits: I am very good at starting an exercise regime, but after an indeterminate amount of time (1 week- 4 months, etc) I fall out of said regime
2. staying on my planned meals: I am also very good at starting and remaining on an exercise regime, like the exercise it falls apart around the same time as the exercise
3. Personal development: I play the piano, and am picking up the harmonica, there are loads of things I could be reviewing and studying (preparing to return to school next year). I can take this opportunity to help build up that habit.
4. Blogging: YES even blogging can be a hard habit to develop (who hasnt started a blog and then QUIT!? dont judge me! :p )
Observations, results and conclusions to follow in 30 days.