Depletion and Why I Missed Day 547

On Day 546 I did Tabatas after not doing them for a while. I did not adequately understand the impact that would have on my daily habits.

The rest of that day after recording, depletion hit me. It hit me physically, but it no doubt affected me as a hit to my willpower - several studies have linked glucose depletion with willpower depletion.

The next day (547) I was utterly sore and tired. Nothing got done.

This was to be expected  - the “physics” of this system seems clearer and clearer. What’s necessary is to plan in advance and prep what a course should have been. 

And really the main problem was my first habit in my regiment - writing. Writing takes a lot of will for me to do in this phase of mastery. That should have been something I should have planned to do very minimally. But right now, I don’t have minimums clearly stated as I did before (e.g. 50 words).

A few days ago I wrote to my Dad, who is trying to start a new healthy eating habit. At his request, I sent him a few solid suggestions on what to do to stick to it. The relevant ones were Recording, TinyHabits, Implementation Intention, and Mental Contrasting.

What I’ve realized is that I don’t really strictly do these, and I should. In order to continue progress, I need very clear daily minimals - TinyHabits. I need to know in advance what’s going to mess me up in order to plan around it - that’s Implementation Intention. I don’t have a solid if-then protocol of when I’m going to do anything, which is Implementation Intention. And not having that results in a slapdash daily regiment (I have a tendency nowadays to record more towards the end of the day after a huge break, which doesn’t help in solidifying my recording habit). 

I think the problem is that I think that these habits are all done - I got to superhabit level on all of these. But with the introduction of mastery - pushing habits to new levels - it’s essentially introduced turbulence to each of them. I have to start thinking of them as new in that vector.

Another element in the mastery vector that’s missing is mid-range goals. The idea is to push a behavior so that it’s solidly at the next shelf, rest it, and work out another behavior. So 2 pushups became 3x8, that transformed into harder variations, and finally now I’ve shelved it at 2 typewriter pushups. Having a very clear knowledge of what the next level is allows me to naturally work for it.

What’s happening in meditation is a perfect example of doing it wrong. I made all sorts of progress and now I don’t really know what I’m doing. I’m meditating every day, it is sometimes good, it’s sometimes bad, but I don’t have direction.

These are serious deficiencies that lead to a hamster wheel state I absolutely hate: The feeling of having toiled and worked over long periods of time and not having concretely accomplished anything.