Since Last Time....Kettlebell Status Update

I pegged the kettle bell exercise habit at 250 days to habituation - I estimated this based on Philippa Lally’s paper on how many days different habits take to reach automaticity. The paper estimated that it would take 250 days to form a habit of doing sit-ups in the morning. 

So for my theory, at the halfway point, 125 days, things would start to get easier. Days 62 - 125 would mark the most difficult time for the process.

So far I’ve had multiple problems. I went on several trips and moved to a different city. I started developing back problems because of it - I’ve always had a sensitive back, but it’s caused me to stop doing kettle bells for swaths of time. Instead I replaced it with a series of back stretches that worked in the past. 

Now it’s going well. I’ve bookended it immediately after my 750 words and I’ve incorporated the stretch routine as part of the process. I keep trying to remind myself that it’s not about the kettle bells, it’s about bracketing a spot for physical exercise - and that’s the thing I’m trying to habituate.

The other thing that’s different about this from 750 words is that I am not using gamification yet - my theory is that gamification can be used to lower the threshold of discipline needed for a habit - which would work best during the ¼-½ way mark. When I hit that point, I’ll probably be using Fitocracy.

This is day 35. Consistency has been sketchy, and I haven’t even gotten to the hardest part, at least according to my theory. AND, I’m going on another trip today!

A New Plan for Habit Progressions Part 3 - A New Hope

What I’ve done for the last 38 days is work solely on 750words.

My theory is that after the a rough patch and after the midpoint, things start their inevitable slide towards automaticity - this is a theory that runs counter to Lally’s research, and is something I’ll discuss later.

My new plan was to work solely on 750 words until after the midpoint, and then start a new habit, the theory being that after the midpoint the will needed to sustain a task becomes less and less. Two tasks overlap, but in the best way possible. The starting task is easy for a bit, and the previous task is approaching automaticity and taking less willpower.

I feel the change in 750 words now. I’ve streamlined the process using the book Self-Discipline in 10 Days and pegged it to a specific time i.e. as soon as I get up in the morning. I’ve taken the Automaticity Index questionnaire and it seems to corroborate my feelings - it is on it’s way to becoming a habit.

I chose working out as my next habit - specifically doing some form of kettlebell workout right after I finish my 750 words - and I started Day 1 this morning. This will be a long one - I’ve pegged it at a 125 day midpoint with an estimated 250 days before it becomes a habit. I’ll be streamlining the process like 750 words, and I’ll be taking notes on how much willpower it takes, it’s automaticity by taking the questionnaire, and how it interacts with my previous habit in the making. I’ll also be using fitocracy and a Google docs spreadsheet to keep track of it.

Habit RPG and Habits of Omission Part 1


Habit RPG works as a customizable gamification of habits. Basically you input things that are daily habits, and whether or not you can get penalized or get points from an action.  There is also a “daily” section, where not doing a  task penalizes you.

You have an avatar that can get gold, experience to level up, and hit points which can be taken away. You have the option of buying potions, armor, etc. to level up your character.

I like this because it adds an extra dimension to the gamification - many programs allow you to level without an avatar or equipment - I believe that with the avatar and equipment you add an extra level of addiction.

Books like For the Win by Werbach and Hunter (I’ll do a book review of it later) talk about 4 types of players. One category - the explorers - get addicted because they want to discover new aspects to the imaginary situation - they want to know what the next spell is or the new weapon. And that is definitely the kind of player I am.

Unfortunately the other kind of player I am is someone who likes PvP - I like knowing I have the power to destroyer others - I think Werbach and Hunter call these people “killers.”

I’m very curious how HabitRPG compares to something like Fitocracy, which DOES allow for PvP “battles”.