How can you start new habits? Take away old ones.
- The old “Build an IKEA cabinet at 6:45 am” technique.
- Every morning for weeks now, I wake up to this racket!
- The real secret to waking up early.
- How can you start new habits? Take away old ones.
Stuck with the same-old habits? Can’t seem to get rid of them? Here are a few tricks.
This is the type of crazy, “Try This at Home” content that’s packed throughout the upcoming “Every Single Day” book. Now available for pre-order on Amazon! Get yours before the digital copies run out!
We’re a few weeks into our life-as-usual-threatening, Screen Free Holiday (filed under “Torture”), and at this early stage dare I make such a bold statement:
Change is Among Us
My son is your typical teenage gamer. He’d rather be in front of the screen of a PS4 shooting down alien invaders while chatting with his buddies about the latest weapon. Yeah I know: reality check.
But here in Thailand, we don’t have a PS4. We don’t even have an iPad. The kids don’t even have phones. Nope, sorry, one boy has a flip phone. Yeah, go crazy dude, have fun with that.
Remove the Stimulus
It may sound easy, but can you get rid of the tool or device or crutch of the habit? In this case, it’s a PS4 and/or iPhone. In the Simple & Easy category, this was simple but not easy.
- Simple: remove any and all screens.
- Easy: deal with the fallout, panic, withdrawal symptoms, and threats of thermo-nuclear war. (In other words, not easy!)
Change the Environment
We’re traveling together with another family who also has two boys. We decided beforehand to go the Screen Free Torture route. The kids can gang up on us, but hey, moan and groan all they want, we didn’t bring the screens with them. They can watch some Thai soaps on TV or maybe text us on that flip phone (sorry, that was a low blow — but this is battle!), but it just ain’t gonna happen dudes.
One of the sons in the other family is into drawing. Guess what? Our son is drawing. It might be the first time ever or at least since he was chained to his desk in some art class back as his old American art-school elementary, but he’s doing it willingly. See photo for proof. I don’t even have Photoshop on this laptop, so I couldn’t have altered the image. One for the record books.
Speaking of altering the environment, I don’t have an office or my usual Apple Air laptop. The shock! The horror! I have a Toshiba Chromebook that can only do browsing (and minimal other stuff, all browser based). Guess what? I can write. I can Write Every Day. I can Keep Writing Every Single Day. Yeah, Change the Environment, but Keep the Habits You Like. That works too.
Finally on the Change the Environment sub-heading, we’re on vacation. We’re not surrounded by our regular stimuli. It’s ripe for change. Thinking of a vacation? Try changing a habit on that trip.
Be the Parents
In other news of torture and Parental Guidance Gone off the Rails, I need to go wake up the kids because we’re doing the last thing they want to do, well, last to a museum: we’re doing an all-day vegetarian Thai cooking course. I’m pretty sure we got zero hands going up on Who Wants to Do a Cooking Course question.
Parenting 101: we are the parents. We can choose, decide, and guide what’s best for our kids. Whether they like it or not. In fact, if they don’t like it, it often means it’s good for them. Like broccoli. If they like it, bonus!
But drawing. He thought he didn’t like it, now he likes it. See how that works? Did you notice what happened there? That’s change. It’s small, it’s possibly even incomprehensible and even invisible to the young teenage human eye, but it’s happening and I’m here to witness it.
Make the change happen for you and your family. Remove the stimuli, change the environment, and be parents.
P.S. I’m filing this under the series, “Creative Ways to Wake Up Your Family.”