Small wins. You’re going to take back control of your life day by day, task by task, inch by inch, and small win by small win. There’s going to be ups and there’s going to be downs, but you’re going to keep on showing up. You’re going to keep track of your small wins and celebrate when you do well and analyze and make adjustments when you don’t. But, above all, you’re going to stay positive and focus on what you can control and not get bent out of shape over what you can’t.
Just. Show. Up.
Every day is an opportunity for you to show up, to keep building better habits, and to cast yet another vote for the person you’re becoming. No matter what happens you’re going to show up and notch another small win on your belt. Tired of being a soft-bodied bitch? Good, get your ass in that gym. Want to be someone who reads more? Good, get a book and commit to a reading schedule. Can’t find the time? Carry that book on you wherever you go and make the time. Can’t carry a book around? Get the Kindle app on your phone, download a book, and replace some of your precious social media time with reading. You are not helpless. You are not worthless. Every day you wake up rent is due on who you are and what you stand for. Just. Show. Up. Build better habits. Notch another win. Build a body of work that leaves zero doubt about who you are and what you stand for.
This is what James Clear has to say on the issue:
“…your habits are not the only actions that influence your identity, but by virtue of their frequency they are usually the most important ones. Each experience in life modifies your self-image, but it’s unlikely you would consider yourself a soccer player because you kicked a ball once or an artist because you scribbled a picture. As you repeat these actions, however, the evidence accumulates and your self-image begins to change. The effect of one-off experiences tends to fade away while [the] effect of habits gets reinforced with time, which means your habits contribute most of the evidence that shapes your identity. In this way, the process of building habits is actually the process of becoming yourself.”
In his book Atomic Habits he says something along the lines of even if you have virtually no time for the gym just show up, get changed into your workout gear, and leave. That counts. You went to the gym. You showed up and cast a vote. And If you have 5 minutes then go knock out five minutes worth of squats. Those five minutes are a blessing, take advantage of them and get five minutes closer to the person you want to be.
Quitting Coffee: Eating a Shit Sandwich
Quitting coffee sucks. It’s a lethargic, sleepy, nut punch that leaves you constantly yearning for a nap and wondering if life off the joe is worth the trouble. Why be tired when I could instead be cracked out of my mind? Why deal with sleep, exercise, or nutritional deficiencies when I can just drown them in a cup of pick-me-up and scatter my brain to the fucking winds? Life sucks and coffee makes it bearable. Except that life doesn’t have to suck and if you’ve haven’t tried sleeping while not on the bean then maybe you should withhold judgment until you’ve given it an honest shot. To each their own in this regard but for me shitty sleep and being beholden to the insidious interests of Big Coffee was a cup too far. If history does in fact in repeat itself then it’s only a matter of time before I’m back in the clutches of that sultry brown seductress. She’ll have me riding high on a wave of euphoria until all of a sudden it comes to a crashing halt and I’m left energy-less and zombified at noon thinking about how I’m going to get my next fix. But, until that day comes, each day is another vote for freedom. Because we will not go quietly into the night. We will not vanish without a fight. We’re going to live on. We’re going to survive. Today kick our caffeine habit!
There are many different tools of the trade you can use to help foster change and community immersion ranks towards the top. Here are three subreddits you can use to get started:
- https://www.reddit.com/r/theXeffect/ – “People here are on a 50-day journey to create/break one or more habits by simply making a 7×7 grid on a card and crossing off each day with a fat-ass felt marker, because your willpower is like a muscle, and it gets stronger and stronger as you exercise it.”
- https://www.reddit.com/r/getdisciplined – “Help others attain self-discipline, by sharing what helps you. Meet your goals and improve your life, Reddit style!”
- https://www.reddit.com/r/NonZeroDay – “For those struggling with motivation and procrastination, a place to share your daily progress towards your goals. In this sub, users post about how they avoided a Zero Day, share experiences, motivate and seek motivation.”
Just a word of caution for those of you who don’t frequent Reddit and a reminder for those who do: Be careful not to get sucked into the shittier parts of Reddit. Before I started to write this post I was out meandering through the wilds of Reddit (mistake! THIS! IS! TAG! TIME!) and you’ll never believe what I came across. Someone was wrong on the internet. SOMEONE. WAS. WRONG!!! Wham, bam, thank you mam, it was time to launch into action. I read the article, zeroed in on where and why he was wrong, and started formulating my response. Fortunately, it was at that time I took a breath and remembered what was at stake here. Was I really going to respond to this guy and possibly get sucked into yet another online spat or was I going to unfuck myself, refocus, and start TAGing? Your boy made you proud. I pulled myself back from the brink and got back to work. The moral of the story is this: Reddit can be awesome, but it can also be a massive time and energy suck. If you don’t stay vigilant the juice from the front page of the internet isn’t worth the squeeze.*
When you are putting small wins out there you’re casting a vote for your new identity and making yourself a better person. You’re making yourself a better person in this chaotic year when the world is in desperate need of as many good people as possible. That’s something to be proud of, that’s something you can lean on on days when you don’t get a win. There will be some shitty days, sometimes even a shitty wall’s worth of days in a row. Keep plugging away, keep notching as many small wins as possible, and keep forging ahead. Day by day, tasks by task, inch by inch, and small win by small win. Keep the faith, you’ve got this.
P.S.: I’m almost done with next weeks post so it looks doing a post every Monday is actually happening this time. See y’all soon!
*Literally just got sucked into Reddit for ~12 minutes. It was on the happy side of Reddit but that was still 12 minutes I should have been working on this post.