One month of my nine-month Habit Experiment is done as of today. Yippee!
July’s Habit: Mindful Internet Use
To refresh your memory, my goals for this month were…
(cue Wayne’s World dissolve)
1. Restricting my internet usage to morning hours and evening hours for the completion of specific tasks.
2. Keeping a log of the times during the day when I feel a pull towards the computer for a non-planned usage of the internet noting what’s going on at the time and what I’m feeling at the moment.
Goal #1 was moderately successful (I only had one week in which I fell off the wagon entirely), and Goal #2 was successful only in the sense that I still want to keep a log and have a plan for how to implement it more effectively.
I’ve lost about one pound and my crossword puzzle times have remained about the same, but I don’t think either of these has anything to do with my internet use.
Inspired by Charles Duhigg’s How to Break Bad Habits (also in the appendix of his book, The Power of Habit), I have settled on a couple of tweeks for changing my internet habit during August (listed below).
August’s Habit: Exercise Daily
In addition to continuing to reduce my mindless internet use, I will devote August to developing an exercise habit.
I’m not 100% new to this. I’ve been taking a 30-minute walk every morning since April 2013, but I want to add a bit more while remaining realistic (I’m not getting any younger, after all). My motivation is to feel healthier, happier, and more energetic, as well as give me some wiggle room to eat high-calorie foods without gaining weight. In developing my goals for my exercise habit, I realized I could combine them with my mindful internet use habit and perhaps hit the proverbial two birds with one stone.
My goals for August:
1. Walk a minimum of 10,000 steps per day, as measured by the FitBit David Sedaris inspired me to buy. I’ll get this with my morning walk combined with regular daily activity, and perhaps a walk around the neighborhood with the kids. I wanted to go for 15,000 steps per day, but I prefer to under-promise and (hopefully) over-deliver.
2. Do 30 minutes of resistance training each day. Because I have trouble finding a chunk of time to exercise, I’m going to try out exercising in lieu of mindless internet use. Every time I feel a desire to check my e-mail, I’ll do one set of some form of resistance training (push ups, squats, lunges, triceps dips, etc). I’ll keep a list of exercises handy so I don’t have to spend time choosing one, and I’ll alternate upper body and lower body each day. At the end of the day, I’ll finish up whatever exercises I’ve not gotten to. Or so goes the plan
3. Keep a log of my exercise and internet use, à la Charles Duhigg (see the “How to Break Bad Habits” link above for more information about this).
So, I’ve got my measurements on board and my paper day planner at the ready for me to log stuff.
Let’s go, August!