Sitting all day was becoming a real pain: bad posture, occasional back pain (when I stayed too focused too long), and general feelings of sedentariness. When I learned that it was likely horrible for my health, if not fatal, I decided to do something about it.
This is my prototype standing desk. It goes on top of my regular desk, but I plan to make a taller one that stands on the floor once I have the ergonomics tuned. This desk is made from lumber, wood screws, and lag bolts I already had. The next version might be prettier.
Then again, I hate wobbly furniture. This thing isn’t wobbly at all. Maybe I’ll stick with the same general specs.
Jiu-Jitsu for Women — George Eastman House on Flickr Commons
Sometimes the thing you want to quit seems like a vein that ramifies throughout a huge part of your life, and influences many behaviors. It can feel impossible to root out every list bit of it.
Maybe it will be, but I doubt it. People overestimate what they can do in the short term, and underestimate what they can do in the long term. You don’t need to instantly succeed to reap significant benefits.
"Herbert George Ponting and telephoto apparatus, Antarctica, January 1912," National Library NZ on Flickr Commons
If you presume lifelong change, the prospect of quitting something forever can loom high and cast a deep shadow. Let me be honest with you, the price might well be high. Many things worth achieving demand sacrifice.
To make matters worse, you must pay most of the price before you feel the benefits. There is no bill me later option in kicking habits.
Quitting some habit is often part of simplifying life, being healthier, or starting something new. Keeping focus on that goal is key to quitting success.
Step One: Start with the Heart
First, and most important, start with the heart of the matter. You’ll probably have to use some rules, but success is not defined as having the best rules (whatever that might mean). If you want to quit something, it’s probably because of the repercussions. Your desired goal is the heart of the matter. Any rules you adopt will matter only to the extent that they help.
A Couple Pitfalls
Unidentified baseball player in dark uniform — batting form — New York Public Library on Flickr Commons
Thorough knowledge of every relevant discipline is not a prerequisite for success. Great baseball players might have a pretty rudimentary understanding of physics, and this is about playing hardball with frustrating habits, not about waxing eloquent on the relevant theories. Keep reminding yourself, it’s about getting to the goal. The habit is in the way, that’s all. Understand enough to beat it.
Sometimes you gotta quit. I’ve done a little constructive quitting and cutting back. As a vegetarian, I quit eating meat about seven years ago. About three years ago, I drastically reduced my coffee intake from several large cups per day to an average of less than one cup in a week. This year I kicked an annoying, 20-year habit of twisting my hair, and I am drastically cutting my sugar intake. Different as these things are, quitting each of them seemed to follow roughly the same sequence. When they failed, it was often because of a breakdown in this rough formula.