Tricking my brain with a schedule

After being sick for a week, and then gone for a weekend, and then having to unexpectedly un-hack my website, I’ve spent this week just trying to get back into a routine.

I keep hearing that it takes 30 days to set a habit. But some habits seem to take 6 months. And undoing them? That takes 3 days.

For a while now (as in, off and on for years) I’ve been cheating on the whole habit thing. I made a weekly schedule for myself. (Yes, it’s color-coded. Stop looking at me like that.)

So instead of saying, ok, I’m going to swim twice a week and read and meditate every night and either do art or journal every night and I’ll write every evening and weekend mornings and I’ll do this at lunch and that after dinner…I just have to get in the habit of looking at the schedule and doing what it says. Since my brain isn’t actually all that smart, it thinks “follow the schedule” is one thing.

Since I’m not a drill sergeant, I do cut myself some slack. (Thus, the past two weeks of sick/recovery/website mess.) I’ll skip my morning exercise if I know I need to sleep. Things come up at work or in life. I am not “supposed” to be writing this blog post on my lunch hour. But I love that I’ve tricked myself into setting a bunch of habits all at once, and I love seeing the giant empty white blanks of weekend afternoons, and I love knowing that yes, I do actually have time to do all these different things and have lots of writing time, I just have to stick to the schedule.

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