Right now I have several superhabits. My eating is about to achieve superhabit status, I’ve dropped my work habit, and my dynamic meditation is already at the habit stage.
So why am I having days where my willpower/endurance is utterly drained?
There are probably several reasons that involve sleep and eating - I’ll brainstorm other variables later. But one main reason is that I’m pushing a lot of my habits and trying to break out of plateaus in superhabits. Here’s a rundown:
Bodyweight exercises - I’m trying to push the number of reps and I’m including other exercises like squats and reintroducing tabatas.
Fixed meditation - I’m switching from basic meditation to first bringing up negative emotion and then quelling it
Eating - I’m at the verge of a superhabit here. I theorized that right before gaining superhabit status there’s another danger zone. And danger zones are where endurance takes a hit.
Writing - I’m trying to write things that are really difficult for me, specifically research-based writing.
Dynamic meditation - I’m extending my sessions from 20 minutes to an hour. This has largely happened naturally, but I might have pushed it a little too fast.
Those are at least 4 drains of my willpower/endurance. Of COURSE I’m barely getting through the day. But how do I solve this?
Ideally what I imagine in graphic form is a series of constantly shifting willpower/endurance drains, where some habits are reined back and one is put into overdrive.
(apologies for the bad sketch)
So in the top left is stage 1 where the second habit will require more willpower for one reason or another. And in the top right in stage 2 willpower requirements are shifted to the first habit. The bottom two are the same habits with regards to work or improvement. Ideally willpower gets you past a hump and when willpower normalizes, you can use that excess on busting past plateaus or whatnot in other habits - BUT output remains the same as when you were expending more willpower.
So right now I want to improve writing. I want to form a nested habit of research-oriented writing. But really it’s not a full habit - writing isn’t a big deal, it’s getting over the automaticity of starting research-oriented writing. If I were to record this, I wouldn’t do the full SRHI - I’d probably just include automaticity questions, and I’d think of implementing a Greasing the Groove strategy to get it done faster.
While I’m leaking willpower/endurance for this, I should dial back all other habits to maintenance mode. So bodyweight exercises are just at pushups and bridges. Meditation, I’m just doing basic meditation, for dynamic meditation I’d do 20 minutes.
Once I’ve successfully overcome the fear of research-oriented writing and I can do the task fluidly, I can bring it back as one slot in a greater writing habit and cycle it along with pitching, writing improvement, narrative first drafts, etc.
I think I once called this process “crutching” because it reminds me of leaning on something in order to maintain forward motion.
I think this process is very interesting because it’s this intersection of regimentation, habituation, and mastery of a skill that things all get really dicey. Either you lose a habit, or your skating along, or everything collapses.