Weeks 5, 6: Taking hold of a new habit…
My Duolingo achievements as of today…
Two weeks ago, I decided to focus on doing what I could to enable my new social media/news consuming habits to take hold. And take hold they did! Here’s the tally of views and resisted urges for weeks 5 and 6:
T 12/20 = 2/2 (= 2 looks, 2 ‘resisted urges’)
W 12/21 = 3/2
Th 12/15 = 3/4
F 12/16 = 3/1
Sa 12/17 = 4/2
Su 12/18 = 3/1
M 12/19 = 2/1
T 12/27 = 2/2 (= 2 looks, 2 ‘resisted urges’)
W 12/28 = 1/0
Th 12/29 = 0/2
F 12/30 = 1/2
Sa 12/31 = 0/2
Su 1/1 = 0/1
M 1/2 = 1/1
The Week 5 numbers dropped a little from Week 4, but they were very similar. The frequency of my habit in Weeks 4 and 5 could be labeled ‘meal mode,’ where I allow myself limited but more or less regular social media and news ‘meals’ each day.
Week 6 was a very different story. The main reason was that I decided to take a vacation from Facebook — no visits to Facebook since December 27th. Week 6 went beyond ‘meal mode’ (if I did this with meals, I would starve). It was more like giving up meat or sugar or some other major diet item, one that could be consumed sparingly or even not at all.
The result? I have to say, I didn’t miss FB that much. I don’t plan to give it up entirely (at least not for now), but I do plan to limit my future visits a lot, including at least a few days each week where I don’t visit at all.
The other big takeaway was that it’s time now for me to treat social media and news separately. I lumped them together for this project for two reasons: one, they were both means for me to indulge in my worst habits of looking for news that fed my sense of outrage and righteous indignation; and two, I had allowed Facebook to become my primary source of news through its news feed feature. Although I also looked at other sources, I had used the Facebook news feed feature first as a news source. As a result, my social media and news habits had become joined.
Thanks to this project, I rediscovered how ‘Catching up with what’s happening in the larger world’ is different from ‘catching up with what’s happening with my FB friends.’ FB makes it convenient to do both at the same time — too easy to become too much of a compulsion. Using this project to reshape the frequency and purpose. As a result, my social media and news consumption have become different habits again. The easiest way to keep this is going is to stop using Facebook as a primary news source. As a result, I am going to build my own news feed away from Facebook once I return to viewing news online on a more regular basis.
All in all, it feels like this new habit has taken hold. The urges are much less frequent, and I don’t feel any sense of loss. I’ll keep an eye out for slippage, but I’m going to declare this habit as officially reformed!
I also now have another new habit to maintain: language learning. I’ve continue to practice on Duolingo every day, and my streak is now 42 days and counting. Just reached level 13 in Spanish (54% “fluent”) and am now at level 11 in French (46% “fluent”). I’ve amassed over 8,000 XPs (experience points) and have learned how to use timed practice to accelerate XP accumulation.
Not only that, I have a process now which I’m going to apply to reforming 10-12 habits in the new year (and yes, that is officially a New Year’s Resolution). Next habit on tap: email! I’m also going to see if I can reduce the formation time from six weeks to four weeks, and then maybe even less than that if I can. I’ll report on that once it’s underway…