Exercising victorious! Next week, sleeping!

Merry Christmas everyone!

I have good news! I have successfully built a habit of exercising over the last 46 days. It was supposed to be 45 days, but I forgot to tweet on day 45, so I didn't notice that I had passed the 45 day mark until after I had exercised on day 46.

The habit is pretty well ingrained at this stage. Starting around day 25, it became more of a compulsion. Now I barely think about it before starting. I call this a huge success. In fact, today Alex and I agreed that we'd sleep in. I got up at 9 to feed the cats, and it was hard for me not to start exercising at that time.

Given how well it went, I'm going to start a new habit on January 2nd, getting to bed on time. Here's how it's going to work:

  • I will have an alarm set on my phone for 10 pm.
  • When the alarm goes off, I will get to bed as quickly as possible. If I'm not at home, that means I start going home immediately.
  • Before 6PM on a given day, I can exempt myself from the alarm by tweeting on @egerlachhabits. If I do that, I must turn the alarm off and set an alarm for 6 pm the next day to remind me to turn it back on.

So, here's the full plan:

  1. Timeline: January 2nd until February 15th.
  2. Trigger: 10 pm alarm on my phone
  3. Habit: Get to bed as quickly as possible.
  4. Obstacles
    • "I just need to finish this"
    • "I'm in the middle of watching this"
    • "Alex won't be going to be for a bit"
    • "Five more minutes won't matter"
    • "I really need to get this done for tomorrow"
    • "I don't need to be up early tomorrow"
  5. Support structure: Primarily, it will be my wife. She's the one whom I'm with every night. I will be tweeting about this on @egerlachhabits, though, so if you want to follow and ask me why I'm not in bed yet, I'd appreciate it.
  6. Feedback: This will be a tough point, because I won't get much. It will be the absence of negative feedback (being tired in the morning) that will be the most beneficial. I will be building on this habit though, and that's where the positive feedback will come in. I think I'll restrict myself to playing Scrabble for when I'm in bed. That will work.

This is going to be a tougher one for me. I'm really good at procrastinating going to bed, and there's no inherent, immediate positive feedback. I'm going to have to build my own positive feedback. But I think I'll be able to manage it. Follow @egerlachhabits on twitter if you want to find out how it's going.