Breaking Bad Habits

There are two things about myself that I have a hard time dealing with.  If you’ve read anything I’ve written before, this may sound familiar.  However, the issues are still ones I’m dealing with and until I have some kind of control over them they are ripe for discussion.  Through discussion, through admission I believe that I will find answers.  So bear with me today as I’m going to be crossing through a part of the emotional landscape I’ve already visited before.

I am a procrastinator and I am unmotivated.  Both of these tendencies cause me no end of frustration.  I look at a to-do list and don’t do anything towards crossing an item off.  I spend too much time mindlessly surfing the internet which has taken the place of mindlessly watching television.  I push myself to the very edge of not having enough time to get to work or church or wherever and then I get angry when I’m ultimately running late.

I know this is not the way I’m supposed to be living life.  I also know that I’m quite capable of keeping a schedule and showing up on time.  So why don’t I just do it?  What is drawing me away from my responsibilities?

The easy answer:  me, myself, and I.  I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it and who cares about the effect on the rest of my life.  Besides, I’m a darn good volunteer or employee so that should make up for it, right?  Not so and definitely not an attitude in line with what I believe.  Working as if I’m working for God does not stop and doing my best at whatever tasks I’m assigned.  It also means making the most of the times in between, it means showing up whenever I’m scheduled to show up, and it means not abusing the good will I’ve generated in whichever area of my life.

Keep in mind I’m not trying to beat myself up here.  I’m acknowledging  issues I face.  How do I fix these issues?  I don’t have a good answer for that question.  I think the best way is to physically acknowledge when I’m successful in using time wisely or getting out the door on time.  It would be akin to the ‘Seinfeld method’ where I would mark a day on the calendar for each day I do some small thing that furthers a goal(read a book, write a blog article, write a review, whatever) and/or for everyday that I’m not late to anything(work, meeting, church, small group, whatever).  The idea is the more days you accumulate, the easier it is to keep a streak going.

So I’m going to create two Google calendars specifically for these purposes and sync them with my iPhone so I can track this from where ever I am.  I’m excited at the possibilities here.  I’ll check in 30 days from now as a progress report and we’ll work from there.

What are your thoughts?  Any tips on keeping on top of getting rid of an annoying habit in your life?

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  • Interesting. Do you think a calendar will do it?

  • Well, so far it’s proven to be fairly good motivation, if a bit bumpy in execution. The calendar I’m using to track ‘use of time’ is three days chained. The ‘on time’ one is blank, but I’m closer to putting an X down which is proving to be a major motivator. Plus, the promise to follow-up here is adding some umph to the whole scenario.