I hit 100 day streak in meditation. I started meditating this January but failed rather quickly. I say with experience that trying to start meditation with twenty-minute sessions is a sure shot way to stumble. So I started again in May with Calm app. I started with their beginner program and eventually realized ten minutes a day is more manageable. I have been regular since June. If I didn’t forget to look at Lift on that tiring day in July, my streak would have been 50% longer. Anyhow, I don’t wish things were different.
I completed the third level of push up challenge with 37 push ups in a row. I struggled a bit to move past 35 but my trainer gave me some tips to move forward. The challenge is complete but the practice continues.
All these tiny habits added up to 5000 check-ins since I discovered Lift in July 2013. I don’t like this app’s new name, Coach.me. Lift and Lifter sounds cooler than Coach.Me. So I will continue to call it Lift. Had I not read this post titled Two Tips for Deliberate Practice on Medium back in 2013, I would have missed this app and the Tiny Habits method it advocates. Reading can change life positively.
As I can already squat 32 KGs and do 37 continuous push ups, I felt it would be great to round off this year with rounding off those numbers as well. So I aim to squat 40 KGs and do 50 push ups by end of 2015. It shouldn’t be difficult as I just need to continue the momentum. But it is easy to set goals than to actually do them. So fingers crossed.
James Clear is one of my favorite habit bloggers. I came across him sometime last year. I am reading his blog ever since. It changed me for the better. I love his content, consistency, and writing style. His work has been immensely helpful to me while I was forming my habit philosophies.
Until last week he published two high-quality articles every week on his blog JamesClear.com. From this week he is only going to publish only one. I welcome this change, wish him all the best, and look forward to continuing to read his posts.
I can go on talking about the lessons learned by reading his blog. But if I were to pick only one, it is this post titled Identity-Based Habits. And this image in that post sums it up.
“Decide the person you want to be and prove it to yourself with small wins”, he prescribes. This idea has helped set up my exercising habit.
I told myself exactly what’s in that image. I have been consistently showing up three times a week to exercise. I can’t do 100 pushups in a row yet but I did 30 this evening on my toes; my highest ever in a row. I have proved to myself that I can do pushups on my toes, over the last 128 days. I have no plans to stop; so I may be able to do 100 pushups in a row someday. I lost a bit of weight by the looks. Nevertheless, performance and appearance are external and don’t matter as much as my identity. I don’t pretend that performance and appearance are not important. They are. But focusing on them isn’t going to take me far. What if people don’t say anything about my performance? Does that mean I am not performing? Instead, I focus on my identity and see performance and appearance as offshoots.
I have few other identities that I would like to keep to myself at this stage. But the point is, identity is a powerful concept. Once you find who you want to be, it is difficult not to prove your identity to yourself. Do it often times and it becomes your reality.
I have no affiliation with James. I have only emailed him once to thank him for his great work and he thanked me back. But I always like to spread the good work and endorse its creators as much as I can. So go to his newsletter page, scroll down a bit and give your email id. You will learn a thing or two.
Identity – I saw myself as the type of person who never misses the workout. So I only cared to show up. I never worried about the weight I could lift or the weight I lost. There is only one person in our workout group who showed up more times than I did.
Habits and Processes – 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Just backpack the workout clothes and shoes. No willpower required.
Evolution – Compared to when I started, I can hold the band tighter, swing the rope higher and last the plank longer. I am now comfortable with heavier kettlebells. I can finish all the sets and reps on the whiteboard.
I am not after any particular results although I believe that results happen by themselves. I am training for life. So the effort continues.