As you might have noticed looking at the dates of these posts I failed to keep up with writing them daily. It is something I am struggling with in many other areas as well. One might even say I’m in the habit of quickly breaking new habits.

I will go over this incident but mostly as an example of a general pattern I have found with me.

The Good Reason

It always starts with a good reason to break the habit for one day.

This time I had an extensive work related writing task due on Wednesday night and a second one for a hobby project. So while I did not publish something here that day, I actually did a lot of writing, which made it okay for me not to post here.

Similar, sometimes even better, good reasons come up in other areas as well. That might be a sick day where it is impossible to do a workout or a celebration that gives an day off from a diet.

In itself I do not think that it is a big issue to skip a habit for a day. Some reasons are just more important than a habit and it does not sound healthy to force yourself through everything. As long as one goes right back to the habit when the special situation is over and exceptions do not happen too often.

The Bad Reason

After the valid, good reason for me usually follows something that might look like a good reason to continue breaking the habit, but actually is not.

In this instance it was a post I wanted to spend more time on. I read a interesting question on social media and while composing an answer I noticed it would be too long for a response there. So I started writing a blogpost.

After the first paragraph I found a pitfall in my thoughts and it became clear I had to think a bit longer about the topic.

But instead of just writing something short, maybe even bad one a different topic (I actually have made a list of short topics I could cover), I postponed the post.

Again, this is a pattern with me not following through with new habits. Things like “I can’t go running because my only short running pants are in the laundry.” or “I made a tough workout today, I don’t have to pay attention to the fasting day.”

The Procrastination

After the second day I have a, at least subconscious, notion that I did not succeed and the latest reason was not really good. This leads to anxiety to even getting back to it and / or the will to overcompensate.

This time it was a mix. I wanted to finish that blogpost and write a second. But what I actually did was nothing. I visited a ingame event, did more chores than usual and watched some technical talks. Those all are things I’m fine with having done, but they should not have kept me from taking 10 minutes to write at least something.

That went on for a few days.

In sports it often leads to me questioning the current workout plan or even sport I’m doing instead of just getting back to it.

A solutions?

In an ideal world, I would be self aware enough to notice steps 2 and 3. But since that is not always the case, I will have to set up some backup options. For sports, having my wife create time for me in our busy life to do it worked pretty well. Telling her why I would not use that time that day, is a pretty good moment to become aware of it being a bad excuse.

For other areas? I will have to find something. But at least now I have seen the pattern in my behavior and can try to change it. Break the habit of breaking new habits.