The Quarter Way Blues

Over the last few days I’ve experienced a drain of energy. 4 days ago I wrote my 750 words, but didn’t do my kettle bell/stretch routine. And the last three days it’s felt like I needed to expend more effort to do my exercises.

There are many explanations for this. I’m approaching the end of a year of intense travel and I’m about to go home - every time I’ve approached this time in the past I’ve felt my discipline go way down. I’ve also been extending my workouts so they are more draining - I’ve been incorporating a back bend progression and bodyweight exercises like squat thrusts, mountain climbers, and crab toe touches (I’ll describe these some more in another post) in order to have them primed for times I can’t bring my kettle bells.

But it is interesting that this dip in will is happening on day 50, roughly a quarter of the way through my projected habituation cycle for exercising.  And it’s not just will - it’s also my mood, with more frequent bouts of sadness, depression, and frustration.

And if I recall other times when I’ve attempted 90 day transformations I had the same set of emotions - it’s understandable that this would happen after the beginning where everything is new and spirits are up, and after the time when you see a lot of improvement. You’re left just chugging along with no hope, and you start wondering why you’re even doing it. 

This is actually a great thing because it confirms, at least emotionally, my theory that ¼ of the way into a habit is the hardest part. It’s where I should start using gamification to counter this low point.

Is this confirmed by the SRHI index? I’m not sure. I took it a week ago, and 750 words = 74 while exercising = 43. These stayed roughly the same when I took it today (750=73, exercising = 43). Looking at the exercising habit, I was quite surprised - I would’ve sworn that it would be lower - I don’t know if this signifies that this period is a plateau, or if this is just a regular progression. It does signify that I need to make more regular records of my SHRI score. I believe Lally stated in some interview that her problem in her habit formation experiment was that participants weren’t recording their SRHI regularly - perhaps I need to make self reporting a habit in itself!