Day 1665

Day 1665 Record Keeping
Day 1637 Fixed Meditation (DID NOT DO)
Day 1511 Writing (All Day)
Day 1050 Exercise (DID NOT DO)

Day 791 Mobility/Stretching (DID NOT DO)
Day 101 Flossing (20 teeth)

Bad sleep. Spent all day on a writing project. Was tired, stomach upset, but I think it was a good tradeoff.

Day 1664 & A Note on Cross-training Meditation and Exercise

Day 1664 Record Keeping
Day 1636 Fixed Meditation (15 min, applied tantra)
Day 1510 Writing (3, 20 min Pomodoros)
Day 1049 Exercise (15 min, walking/running, 15 min, biking)

Day 790 Mobility/Stretching (10 min, back, back erector smash & hip stretch)
Day 100 Flossing (20 teeth)

Good sleep. Early day with lots of errands. Had to get Lydia to the airport and left at 5:30. Yet, I did all my habits.

A Note on Cross-training Meditation and Exercise

I’ve been really thinking quite a lot about cross training in order to push habits. Normally I think of cross-training in terms of switching up things in a week. One day walk, the next day bike. But I remember when I was attempting body for life several years ago in China, I found that I just got bored, for lack of a better world.

I knew I could bike for an hour, but it wasn’t just boring, it took a lot of effort to will myself through the same movement. But if I changed it up - walking, biking, and the elliptical, suddenly it just felt easier. And I improved - for the first time since high school I began to run.

They say that making any decision drains willpower - in this case it feels like sticking to things despite boredom does as well. In this case, changing things up in a session appears to access something akin to the Novelty Effect.

I noticed the same thing when I was switching things up in meditation in a session. But in this case it again seemed to not only yield longer times with ease, but stronger meditation.

This is something to seriously think about in the basic progress of any habit.

Today in mediation I did another sort of cross training - applying meditation, not just to my normal mental state, but after bringing up negative emotion, and then using tantra to change it. Adding rigor through making training closer to the negative aspects of real life, and ratcheting the base difficulty may be yet another way to push habits.

Whether these methods are enough to raise the base intensity of habits over longer periods of time remains to be seen.

Day 1659

Day 1659 Record Keeping
Day 1631 Fixed Meditation (DID NOT DO)
Day 1505 Writing (2 hours)
Day 1044 Exercise (DID NOT DO,)

Day 785 Mobility/Stretching (DID NOT DO)
Day 95 Flossing (20 teeth)

Bad sleep. If yesterday was really low willpower, today was a total collapse of willpower. I feel that there is a pattern to this. I upped everything in the beginning of the week, and within four days it collapsed.

Day 1658

Day 1658 Record Keeping
Day 1630 Fixed Meditation (15 min, tantra)
Day 1504 Writing (6, 13 min Pomodoros, very hard)
Day 1043 Exercise (DID NOT DO, sore)

Day 784 Mobility/Stretching (DID NOT DO)
Day 94 Flossing (20 teeth)

Ok sleep. Incredibly low energy, low willpower, frustrated, emotional, etc.

Day 1657 & Thoughts on How to Measure Increased Habit Loads

Day 1657 Record Keeping
Day 1629 Fixed Meditation (15 min, metta)
Day 1503 Writing (7, 13 min Pomodoros, very hard)
Day 1042 Exercise (25 min, biking)

Day 783 Mobility/Stretching (10 min, back & back erector smash)
Day 93 Flossing (20 teeth)

Ok sleep.

Thoughts on How to Measure Increased Habit Loads
One of the last pieces of the whole self-improvement puzzle (for me, anyways) is how to efficiently increase the amount of work I do on a habit. This is all the more confusing because I’m starting every habit so that it’s incredibly small, to increase the likelihood of it getting to automaticity. But what I’ve found by just naturally going by feel is that I bite off more than I can chew.

So if I start a small habit of biking for 10 minutes, once it’s up to a superhabit, I’ll have a day where I go for 30 minutes. This never works out, and I’m almost always forced to drop down. Maybe not back to 10 minutes (there’s usually a natural swell after the habit is established), but perhaps 15. But if I do it too quickly, the habit not only shrinks back, but it affects other habits.

Initially I thought of it in terms of performing an experiment - maybe I can try the gradual method of slowly adding minutes or I can test out 30 day challenges and see if that gets me further. But another method I was looking into was periodization for athletes.

When I was in high school my friend wanted to join the cross country team. Over the summer he was given a program to follow to get him from running a mile to running up to 9 miles. It involving some days of rest, some days of increased loads, and some days of average or light runs. I never was certain as to whether it was based on some study or if it was just passed down as coaching wisdom. It worked for my friend, but when I tried it, I failed miserably.

While I search for the background on that kind’ve training, it might be helpful to just monitor what days I feel more energized and what days I don’t, based on a rudimentary scale, after I increase the load of a habit. This week I increased my biking by 5 minutes, moving from 20 to 25 minutes. Yesterday I felt great and did 30 minutes. Today I felt like I was dragging even to get to 25. That could mimic the pattern across time if the energy patterns are similar with every push.

That’s, of course, a big if. I don’t, for example, know if it is system wide, since I’m also working really intensely on writing, and upping flossing. I also don’t know how long I’ll have to wait to get things completely automatic with a higher load, nor do I know how to test it in any sort of efficient, elegant way.

Day 1655

Day 1655 Record Keeping
Day 1627 Fixed Meditation (15 min, mindful scrolling)
Day 1501 Writing (3, 13 min Pomodoros, incredibly hard)
Day 1040 Exercise (25 min, biking)

Day 781 Mobility/Stretching (10 min, back smash)
Day 115 Sunday Groceries
Day 91 Flossing (12 teeth)

Good sleep. Tried a new meditation, mindful scrolling, that deals with social media and meditating through the negative feelings that arise from it. Had an amazingly productive and difficult writing session. Despite the small amount of time, it was something that was incredibly hard and worthwhile.

Day 1644

Day 1644 Record Keeping
Day 1616 Fixed Meditation (DID NOT DO)
Day 1490 Writing (DID NOT DO
Day 1029 Exercise (DID NOT DO)

Day 770 Mobility/Stretching (DID NOT DO)
Day 80 Flossing (12 teeth)

OK sleep. Really nervous about writing, took the day off. Hopefully that helps for tomorrow.

Day 1643

Day 1643 Record Keeping
Day 1615 Fixed Meditation (10 min, metta)
Day 1489 Writing (3, 20 min Pomodoros)
Day 1028 Exercise (DID NOT DO)

Day 769 Mobility/Stretching (DID NOT DO)
Day 79 Flossing (12 teeth)

Bad sleep. Interrupted sleep, interrupted schedule, and just felt kinda down and tired the entire day.I had attempted to reverse my schedule in order to get more writing out put, but I ended up just draining everything at the beginning.

Day 1641

Day 1641 Record Keeping
Day 1613 Fixed Meditation (15 min, vipassana)
Day 1487 Writing (3, 20 min Pomodoros, HARD)
Day 1026 Exercise (20 min, biking
Day 767 Mobility/Stretching (10 min, back & erector smash
Day 113 Sunday Groceries
Day 77 Flossing (12 teeth)

Ok sleep. Seriously thinking about moving "Sunday" Groceries to another day. I did it today, and it was much less stressful. I'm also attempting to move up my flossing habit. And I'm getting back into exercise - I've finally changed the name. A part of me is uncertain whether or not to start the habit from scratch. But I guess all habits if properly built require evolving - a change that can either make it, break it, but in either case has it looking very different from the small habit from which it started began.

Day 1635

Day 1635 Record Keeping
Day 1606 Fixed Meditation (10 min, gratitude)
Day 1481 Writing (4, 20 min Pomodoros)
Day 1020 Rowing (DID NOT DO
Day 761 Mobility/Stretching (10 min, back & erector smash
Day 112 Sunday Groceries
Day 71 Flossing (6 teeth)

Good sleep.  Did groceries today due to an interrupted week. Better late than never.