I’m suffering through an paralysis by analysis these days in taking up my habits after a long absence and in continuing forward with the Mastery phase of my project.
And this is understandable. I feel this project has gone through phases: gamification, habituation, recording and habituation, and now pushing skills towards mastery. At every point where I felt a need to shift things up, I’ve felt dead in the water.
My main question is how I should shuffle habits that need pushed when in reality - they all do. I’m not taking about extraneous habits that can be dropped. they’re all important, and they all exist in a core family. Meditation, eating, and exercise all have far reaching benefits that extend through out any endeavor in terms of energy, general health, and mental stability. Recording is how I keep track of the project as a whole, and writing is something I have to do for work.
If I want the “thing itself” for any of these, I feel like I’ll be endlessly dithering around with the other, especially with the knowledge of how pushing a skill towards mastery tends to cause severe strains on the overall system of willpower that sustains other habits.
I’ve talked about methods of getting around this before - particularly with the notion of “shelfing” - getting a habit up to a self sustained “next level” then cycling to another skill to push.
Talking over it with Lydia the other day, she suggested using sandbagging, which I talked about a long time ago. Essentially it’s reaching further than you think you can, and letting go of tasks that don’t need to be worked on now. Since NaNoWriMo is this month, and I’m writing for that, there’s going to be a extra load because I’m not used to writing that much daily. On top of that, I’m going to have problems because I’m re-engaging all my habits after an absence.
The question becomes - what habit, in a core group of habits like this, should I drop? Her answer - what’s going to give you the most bang for your buck?
You can make a sandbagging ratio - of habits based on how much they give vs how much they take to implement. Going through it went like this:
-meditation is easy to implement (only takes a few minutes, is a single task per day) yet mental stability seems to strengthen every endeavor. HIGH PRIORITY
-Exercise is a little more difficult. It’s also a single task, and though it has an initial draining factor (i.e. tiredness) it provides more energy.
-Eating - incredibly difficult to implement - it’s a continuous task along multiple scenarios. Has a great bang, cause it helps regulate energy levels.
Therefore eating is the first bag that could be dropped during this time, even though I hate to do it. I’ll start recording today, and just consider eating as a soft goal for this month.