The higher the tier the more important it is, and within each tier, given things are more important to me based on frequency.
These are things that I want to do every day.
That makes them prime candidates for becoming habits.
Folks seem to choose goals, and annual resolution, as though they might happen upon a genie.
My goal is to have six-pack abs.
I resolve to eat healthy.
(Whatever the fuck that means.)
There’s a reason nobody tells you about the habits they’re going to change: it implies they’re actually going to put in any effort to achieve the things they want in their lives.
Your goal is your destination, your habit is your method of travel.
Everybody wants to go to Valhalla but we seem to have stopped talking about the vicious, violent fucking murder you have to fall victim to in order to get there.
Habits build on themselves. Once I have one going, I’m usually unsatisfied with it at some point. It becomes so second-nature that I don’t realize any mental strain and feel the need to challenge myself with further complexity.
I often see this tackled backwardly as well: trying to achieve a thing head-on rather than what can be done over time.
It might seem more interesting to starve yourself down from 280lbs. to 140lbs. (and I’ve done it) but you only think that because the only thing you’ve ever read about weight loss are the AMAZING TRANSFORMATIONS of… I don’t know. Jessica Biel or something. I’m sure Christian Bale’s done some astounding nonsense lately. Whatever.
Those results are their jobs. It is not your job to look fucking amazing, you’re funded only by your part-time job and your hubris. So calm down and let’s break the shit down into baby steps.
Big, to Small
Oddly an apt description of the overall trend in my workouts and body composition, but here I mean we’ll start with the furthest goal I’m willing to handle.
If I had the willpower to plot out a multi-year body recomposition plan, I’d already have achieved it, so let’s scale down a bit further right off the bat: six months.
What can I do in six months?
What can I do in a month?
What can I do in a week?
What can I do today?
Or, ask yourself every day: what am I going to do today that will result in the goal I have set for myself six months from now?
Is it something I can do again tomorrow? Because I’ll have to. It seems obvious but people really screw themselves over with “I’m going to eat NOTHING” and then are usually immediately miserable and fail to do that continuously, to some degree.
- Wake up at 4AM
- Wake up at 5:30PM
- Archive Daily Meals
- Gym Attendance
I have made my daily habits as easy to succeed at as possible. I am a worm and I need my soil soft if I’m going to make any progress.
I need to have reasons for doing things, to make them important enough to remember to do.
Why wake up at 4AM/5:30PM?
I’ve afforded myself two “chunks” of sleep: roughly before and after when I work, so I have time to go to the gym. This ensures both being rested for these physically-taxing tasks, as well as recuperation following them. Some time after 5:30PM will be when I decide to stream, so I’d like to be “fresh” for that as well.
Why “Gym Attendance?” Aren’t you going to work out?
Ideally yes, but I’ve found 3 lifting sessions per week are sufficient. I’ve been skipping down to 1 with annoying frequency, losing days and forgetting what lifts I’ve even done. I’ll at least go to the gym every day, after work, for a shower. I’m thinking of doing some low-intensity, low-impact cardio on my non-lifting days, just so I don’t have any excuses to avoid the gym because I don’t have anything to do there.
Why archive meals daily?
I phrased it this way because I like to write down my food journal by hand, but then at the end of the day I log it into an online calorie counter. I’ve decided to allow the tracker to decide the calorie goals for me (I’ve estimated them as being lower) just because it will adjust my target intake as I get lighter, automatically. I want as little involvement, difficulty, and complexity in these early stages, remember. I may or may not even attempt to eat less, just yet, as my activity levels will be so much higher and I’ll want to be able to recover from that.
Adaptation and Mutation
Eventually I will be waking up when I want to, the fullest realization of a formed habit, so it will be removed from the list.
Eventually I will be attending the gym every day, so I can have more specific goals in my training. Perhaps having a more complicated split rather than the same full-body workout, or having a periodization schedule. Maybe I’ll do HIIT instead of leg lifts and cardio. Dunno. Not gonna worry about it yet.
Eventually I will be accustomed to the “hassle” of having my diet managed for me. I’ll have determined something approaching a “maintenance” level of calories for my current bodyweight and become more strict about following the recommended calorie levels, or calculate my own needs for calories and macronutrients.