Normally Shit Skippy Says is about me bitching about whatever corncob is up my ass at any given time. This week I’ve decided to use it for a different purpose. ‘Cause I do what I want. We will return to my whining next time around.
Are you contemplating your New Year’s resolutions? Making a list of changes and checking it twice? I got some tips to help ya out with changing your life for the better.
1. Action is better than thinking.
The more time you spend contemplating change the less likely you are to make a change. Too much thinking is what I refer to as mental masturbation. That’s one sex reference. SEO value of this post is going up already.
Your life should be 20% thinking and 80% doing. You can think about different ways to eat less candy this year. You can make a list of reasons to eat less candy. You can talk to your friends about eating less candy.
At some point you have to actually do things that will lead to you eating less candy. Give away all the candy you have at home. Don’t buy any more. When you find yourself craving some chocolate deliciousness run to the store, buy a box of chocolate and stuff your face.
Except about the running part.
Engage in some action that will take your mind off the candy. Like smoking cigarettes or running with scissors. Or watching Brazilian fart porn. SEO booster number two.
Got a craving for some candy? Walk around the block instead. Do push ups. Grab some hand weights and lift until you are tired. Clean the toilet. Wash dishes. Put your body to work doing something and you mind will follow. You’ll forget about the candy.
2. Know and avoid your current anchors and triggers.
Anchors and triggers can be your friend or your enemy. If you don’t know what I mean by anchors and triggers here’s an example.
Is there a song that puts you in a certain emotional state every time you hear it? A song that reminds you of a romantic partner from the past? Reminds you of a great time in your life? A bad time in your life? Each time you hear that song notice how your mind and body react. That’s an anchor/trigger.
If you want to change a behaviour you must know what triggers this behaviour and avoid the trigger.
One of my friends wanted to stop smoking. He could go two weeks without a cigarette. No problem. Not a touch of craving for the nicotine. But then we would go to a bar and within 30 minutes of being there he needed a smoke.
He had an anchor to the bar environment that triggered his desire to smoke.
Know your triggers. Don’t just attempt to avoid them because you will fail. Replace them.
3. Create new anchors and triggers that will serve your intentions.
Someone recently remarked to me about how terrible the minutia of creating a website is. Don’t I know it. Nothing excites me more than sitting down to plow through some CSS. Except when I can’t figure out why the CSS isn’t doing what I want it to do. That’s the best ever.
I could scream bad words at the computer. Well, actually I do that. But it doesn’t help.
I minimize the amount of screaming I do at the computer by using a positive anchor I have created. I have a specific playlist of music which I only listen to when working on websites and it puts me in a positive, happy and upbeat state. That makes it easier for me to problem solve and engage in repetitive work.
Create anchors and triggers for yourself that put you in a useful emotional state.
4. Reward yourself and set consequences.
Positive reinforcement works for dogs, children, employees and you. Make a deal with yourself to reward yourself. This will help you accomplish things which are proving difficult.
I really don’t want to be writing this blog post right now. I’ve a huge list of things I’d rather be doing. Thus I made a deal with myself. Soon as I get this post complete and ready to publish I can take a shower and then do some photo editing while drinking hot tea. Now I’ve got more incentive to get my ass in gear and pump this out.
Ass and pump in the same sentence are good for SEO.
You can also set up consequences if you don’t follow through on your goal or system.
I read a story many moons ago in which two women agreed to avoid deserts in restaurants. The first one to break the agreement had to eat a can of Alpo dog food. The woman who wrote the story said she carried around a can of Alpo in her purse. Each time she was tempted to order the cheesecake she pulled out the can and read the ingredients.
No more desire for cheesecake.
For this to work you have to be committed to adhering to the consequences. Obviously she was because the point of her story was that it worked for both of them.
5. Don’t set goals. Create systems.
This goes against everything you have heard from self improvement idiots for your entire life. There are some cases where goals are the right approach. The other 80% of the time you should be creating systems.
- Goals have end points. Systems don’t.
- If you don’t meet a goal you have failed. Every time you adhere to your system you have succeeded.
What I mean by this is don’t set a goal to read War And Peace by January 31st. It’s too easy to fail at that. Create a system in which you spend a minimum of 30 minutes a day, five days a week, reading a book for pleasure.
Every day you read for 30 minutes you have been successful. Your brain likes success. Small success leads to big success. A system is something that you can build on, expand and develop.