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Habits & Tim Ferriss Love

By September 21, 2017 No Comments

I am a massive Tim Ferriss fan.  I can’t believe no one recommended the 4 Hour Work Week to me sooner!  I read it and was hooked. If you haven’t heard of Tim or aren’t a huge fan yet, do yourself a favour and get involved! His podcast is one of the world’s most downloaded and you can pick and chose whatever interests you! He also has a TV show now which he co-produced with Vince Vaughn called “Fear(Less)” which I haven’t been able to watch in Australia (if anyone has figured this out, please let me know). I am just finishing his latest book Tools of The Titans which is basically an easy to read handbook of the tactics, routines and habits of the top performers he has interviewed on his show.  People like Tony Robbins, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Laird Hamiliton and Shaun White.  The book covers three areas: healthy, wealthy and wise.  It’s about 700 pages of pure gold and is really easy to pick up and just read a random bit and go into a K-hole on that subject.  Based on my Tim binge, I’ve come up with a few habits I would like to form for myself.

Over the last month or so, I’ve successfully implemented a couple.  I’ve always said I didn’t have an addictive personality, as in I don’t like gambling, being perpetually hung over or smoking cigarettes.  But so called “good habits” they fuck me up.   The trouble is once I gain a habit, even a good one, I get obsessive, addicted and irritable when I am not following my habit.  Take for example, making and drinking Bulletproof coffee or tea.  I’ve made it while camping, skiing, in an airport, in a ship in the middle of the ocean.  You offer me a FREE breakfast buffet and I’ll say “no thank you, I’ve got this butter coffee.” I will go to great lengths to get that butter and Brain Octane into my belly in the morning.  Another one is making the bed, don’t mess with my bed making.

As I’ve made some of the things on my post-Tools of the Titans list a bonafide habit, I’ve noticed I become addicted to performance at all costs.  Take for example my “meditation” and morning journaling (I put “meditation” in quotes because I am not sure that is what I am actually doing, more like chasing my mind around trying to get it to hold still like a toddler hopped up on Mountain Dew).  I get up at around 6 am each day to do these things.  Everyday.  This goes well on the weekdays, but when Luke is home on the weekends I get really annoyed.  He asks me what I am doing, hangs around, makes noises.  I think, “goddamn it, this is MY MEDITATION time.”  And then I realise the grand flaw in this thinking.  Mediation is not about anger and annoyance with another person! So, on weekends, I still get up bright and early but I take my headphones down to the beach and do my “Smile Meditation” or just say “gone” over and over to my monkey mind on the beach.  The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Anyway, after doing a bit more research on habit forming, I’ve learned it best to tackle one habit per month instead of a laundry list of goals you’ll never attain.  I’ve been working on this concept of singular tasking and being fully present in whatever I am doing.  It’s hard but gets results…

Habits I Would Like to Form (from my morning journal Tuesday September 12, 2017):
  1. SUCCESS: At Least 10 Minutes Meditation – I love the Smile Meditation by Tara Brach or using “Gone” (Basically you just note when every sensory experience or thought disappears by saying “gone”).
  2. SUCCESS: Morning Pages – You just handwrite 3 pages everyday about whatever you chose: how you are feeling, things that happened, ideas.  Somedays I list 3 things I am grateful for and 3 affirmations.  Content fluctuates wildly. See The Artist’s Way: Morning Pages Journal by Julia Cameron.
  3. SUCCESS: Change My Parenting Approach – This is hard to articulate and definetly not specific but an overall shift from reacting to interacting with love as the guiding principle.
  4. PENDING: Write Your 3 MITs (Most Important Tasks) for Each Day in the Morning and Crush Those First
  5. PENDING: Write 2 Pages or 1000 Words a Day – Ideally, 2 SSM Posts a week, 1 Inertia, 1 Guest Post Elsewhere.
  6. PENDING: 30 Minutes focusing on my Relationship with Luke and/or do something nice for him each day, this video explains the single most important factor in human happiness and is why this should be on the top of my list.
  7. PENDING: At night, Wish 3 People Happiness – Just a random and heartfelt wish for someone you know (or don’t) to be happy.  Bring the person to mind and wish them happiness. That’s it.
  8. PENDING: Remove Swear Words & “Like” from My Vocabulary – ugh, so unnecessary.
I basically willed and forced myself to adapt the first two by just showing up and doing it every morning.  After a while like all my habits, I actually crave the “meditation” and journaling portion of my day.  I’ve looked into the process of forming habits a bit more and will try to apply it to the next 5.  The hardest part is focusing on just thing at a time but it is also very good training for being present in all aspects of my life.  I am slowly getting better at putting my phone down, closing the 10 million tabbed browsers and taking one step at a time.

My Habit [NEW] Process:
  1. Chose 1 Habit Per Month (soon hard, this whole single tasking thing!)
  2. Do It at the Same Time Everyday
  3. Make the Goal Attainable (i.e. if you want to meditate for 30 minutes, start with 10)
  4. Make the Goal Specific and Measurable (i.e. don’t say you want to be a kinder person, make it a specific action that you can measure to see if you’ve gained the habit)
  5. Check on the Progress Daily
Upon looking at these desired habits I realise the pull from all the most important areas of my life (except health and surfing, which I am already fanatical enough about) with the ultimate goal of bringing joy and happiness to myself and those around me.  I need to be held accountable for self-improvement constantly lest I spend so much time reading and writing but miss the point.
What are some of the things you are working on?  How do you hold yourself accountable?  Any tips or tricks?

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