Monthly Archives: August 2016

Habits

Eventually, I’d like to be able to write novels full-time and live in the big summer house on a lake with all the trimmings.  In order to get to that point, I have to sell books.  In order to do that, I need to write one.  In order to do that, I have to write.

So how do you establish a habit?  I’m asking because I’m the king of not following through, lord of starting and not finishing.

I was born and raised in a happy environment with a living family and plenty of friends.  I’m probably smarter than the average bear, but it wasn’t easy.  Sure, in the beginning it was, didn’t have to study, also had the benefit of being good at any sport I tried so I was successful at most things.

Then I hit 10th grade geometry and almost failed my first class.  Junior and Senior year were more of the same-“wtf is happening to me?”. Truth is, I had no idea how to work, how to study, how to succeed on more than natural intelligence or physical skill.  To this day, I still have to struggle with being methodical and not blaming someone or something for me not succeeding.

So how do I succeed, or at least keep moving in a forward direction?  I plan, I try, I take smaller steps but keep in mind what the next few will be.

I try not to get distracted and surf for hours, but it happens.

So my step here is, to just write.  Hopefully it’ll help someone, but just the practice of writing will help not only stretch creative muscles, but also form habits.

So back to my original question, how do you form habits?

Dreading going into work?

I had a really great realization last night around 8pm or so.  I realized that I was enjoying the company we had over, and that I wasn’t either dreading going into work the next day, or frustrated and angry that I needed to pull out my laptop to do the 100 things I needed for the next day first thing.

Do you find yourself in this situation on Sundays on a regular basis?

If so, what are you doing about it?

For way too long I have stayed in positions because I didn’t think I had an alternative.  I spent the last 15 years or so, jumping from job to job, varying in responsibilities and that when it came down to it, I was really unhappy.  I THOUGHT i knew what I wanted, but in truth, I just kept chasing the $.

Don’t quit your job, or decide to change industries or careers or anything like that.  Start simple.  What is one thing that can make that dread a little less?  Maybe you’re like me and you say yes to everything.  Start being more realistic.  You may have some friction because people are used to you always saying yes, so do it gently and don’t be all “F Everyone, I’m not doing Jack from now on!!!!  ROAR!!!!”  That might feel good, but that’ll get your ass booted 😉

I keep going back to this, but the one thing I learned from my past job was that I really didn’t know myself.  Self awareness is not comfortable at first, in fact, it’s a bit depressing.  Really take a look at who you are, what you like and don’t like, and what you really NEED, not want.  For me, I kept chasing the money through promotions and it got me farther and farther away from what I really enjoyed – solution development.

So when you’re bumming out on Sunday evening, think of one small thing you can do during the week to make it easier.  It may be as simple as going for a walk at lunch to break up the day, or it might be cleaning up your resume and have someone look at it.  Small steps create large results sometimes.  I can tell you that I was having a real problems physically – profusely sweating to the point of dehydration because of the constant level of stress.  I started meditating, doing self awareness exercises, realized I didn’t want to be a manager, and eventually I was applying to the right jobs and I got a really good one.

The other thing I found after I gave notice and had more free time, that I was able to do more with my free time.  Life is short, don’t waste it on Facebook or YouTube.  Do something productive!