How to change the color of your balls

This morning I had coffee with my buddies Joshua (The Minimalists) and Colin (Exile Lifestyle). They’re both amazing writers and I am pretty much in awe with their daily writing routines. Both are very different, yet similar in that both are completely unachievable for someone like me. Joshua will get up at 4am every morning and write for however long he can, at least a few hours. Colin sets himself a deadline once he’s ready to start writing, and then does whatever it takes to finish his project on time. Which he does.  A couple of years ago, I went through a period of daily writing. Then my relationship went bad, and I stopped. I came back to the US a little over a year ago and quite blew up life as I knew it. I started a business,  drove across America and eventually ended up in Montana. 

Along the way, I eliminated every single habit I might have had – both good and bad. Literally no day has been the same and while there are benefits to such – in a way I’ve been yearning for a more habit-driven lifestyle.  Some days I wake up at six, others at nine. Some days I play soccer (aka splitting my spleen), others I fish, others I climb, others I life, others I run, others I swim, others I play racquetball and others I ride my bike. Some days I live super healthy, others I don’t. There has been zero order, no routine and no habits. And in a way, that’s exactly what I was looking for. Why?

I think my last set of habits didn’t necessarily lead to successful outcomes. Or maybe they did, and I just let a bad relationship overshadow everything else. Probably the latter. 

That being said, being back in Montana – I very much sense that this is the right place for me. A place where I can settle down for a (long) while. Considering that I do nothing just a little bit, I took a giant first step by buying a house.  Done. 

Yet, the more challenging part has been to adapt a habit-driven daily lifestyle once again. It’s really hard for me to just change one habit at a time. I am more of an all-or-nothing kind of guy. And while that might work well for some things, it does not work when it come to habits. Changing habits is hard, and it’s really best to do it one at time. 

If you want a visual analogy, imagine a guy trying to juggle ten red balls at once (juggling balls, people). He wakes up one morning and wants to change all the red to blue juggling balls. That’s really hard to do while juggling all those balls, the more balls you juggle the harder it gets actually. Even to just change one. 

Well, thanks to my recent injury I’ve been forced to drastically decrease the number of balls I am juggling. (Note to self, you really need to find a different analogy moving forward). Most of my hobbies tend to be athletically driven, and they’re now all out of the equation for the six weeks. So I am using this as an opportunity (last balls analogy coming up) to change the limited number of red balls I am juggling to switch them over to blue ones. 

Here is what that means.

  • Walk 15,000 steps every day (at least until I can bike again)
  • No electronics past 10pm, except my Kindle
  • Write an hour every day, first thing in the morning
  • No grains after 6pm, that incudes beer
  • Five servings of fruit and vegetables ever day
  • A weekly cheat day where I can do whatever the heck I want to do

I am also going to track my food intake, weight, body fat, sleep and activity levels. Not because I want to lose weight, but as a way to feel better about my investments in various body tracking devices starting with the word Fitbit. Come to think of it, my fruit and vegetables habit is mostly driven by my not insignificant investment in a blender starting with the word Vitamix. At this I have decided against a new habit based on my purchase of a camp fire stove starting with the word Biolite