Not every habit is worth breaking today


Build a ladder instead.

Start wherever you're actually willing to start.

Now then! Body of Knowledge Weekly, a lightweight email accountability program, has been going for a couple weeks now. Something I’m seeing that makes me proud, happy and extremely optimistic is the way everyone is focused on a few things. Nobody is planning to scale a mountain this week. Everybody has a short list of actions to take and habits to break. Most of them are VERY short lists.

Which is an excellent plan and a great way to create early success. The kind of success you can build on for more success. And so on until things that seemed impossible are just … kind of impossible to remember as something that used to bug you.

I don’t really like the idea that we self-sabotage. I’m not sure it makes sense to call the saboteur part “us.” But I’m acquainted with the behavior we mean when we say self-sabotage. And one of the most effective ways to build in a self-destruct mechanism to any change plan is to overestimate what’s possible. To decide that you should be able to do - every day - something that a pro pulls off once in a blue moon.

So when you’ve got your eye on a whole cluster of habits, think instead about where you’d get the most leverage. That for me is what I’m actually WILLING to do. Something that has a chance of happening - even if it’s hard. Because it will be, some of the time.

But something that will actually happen is something we can build on. Something that doesn’t have a chance of happening, or can’t happen until some other stuff happens first, is nothing to build on. That’s just a crater of depression waiting to happen.

So if you’re kind of in a pit, forget about reaching for the stars. Start building a ladder. Ask what you want to do, what you’d be willing to do, what’s worth doing.

And if you’re having trouble with that list, back into itAsk: What am I NOT willing to do?

If you’re honest about that, it’ll 1. build self-trust (often in short supply if you’ve spent any time dieting) and 2. spark a TON of ideas about positive places to start.

Let me know what happens.

You Have the Right to Remain Fat.

Yes you do. And I can’t believe I forgot to mention this book by Virgie Tovar last week, when I talked about the authors I admire on the topic of fat phobia and bias. Virgie’s book is new, it’s smart, it’s funny and readable, and I recommend it.

Max Daniels