Most people have at least a few self-defeating habits they struggle with from time to time. For me, it’s my relationship with Cheetos. I simply can’t resist them. I’ve been found on many occasion passed out with my face covered in the orange powder. So you would think I'd keep this particular salty snack out of the house, right? You would think. But no, open up my kitchen cupboard and Chester Cheetah will be staring right back at you, making a kissy face. On the surface, this dilemma appears to suggest the aforementioned easy fix -- just don’t let them in the house.
But it's hard. Deliciously hard.
So trust me as I pass along this interesting article from Psychology Today about The 7 Habits of Highly Ineffective People, I'm not preaching, I’m just reaching for help as much as the next guy. Now while highlighting these unproductive behaviors is in fact important, it’s merely the first step, as well as the safest one on the staircase. What makes breaking a defective routine so difficult isn't that we're somehow unaware of what we're doing. Or that we don't wholeheartedly desire to do the complete opposite. No, what makes it so challenging is that it takes round-the-clock conscious, workout-of-your-life exertion to squash an unwelcome behavior. Which sounds exhausting, right? It is. But how bad do you want it?
Lists like this make complete sense, but they often teeter on nothing more than conventional wisdom. Change is not as easy as skimming a self-improvement article or clapping as someone stands on stage pouring big rocks into a jar before adding a bunch of pebbles. The improvement entirely lies in your effort. The painstaking effort. Well, at first it is. But once you make the initial push-off from Complacency Island and battle through the discomfort of your mind and body saying, "Um can we just put on our comfy pants and talk about this for a second?" you'll start to see a bit of the horizon. And once you have a little progress, you start building up some momentum. Once you have a little Mo, you’ll get a little mo’. Not that you won’t hit some walls or temporary plateaus, but you’ll fight through them. Every incremental gain will generate more and more momentum. You’ll finally find yourself in a position to get out of your own way, so you can grab what you want. Be it learning guitar, or working on that billion dollar app idea, or eradicating yourself from the jowls of Chester Cheetah.
Identifying debilitating behaviors is a good first step. But then it’s time to go to work -- work of the on-call 24-7 nature. But it will be worth it.
Now let's go get 'em!