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Mike Wazowski

Mike Wazowski’s Habbit Laboratory

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Planning to try and build 5 new daily habits over the course of this challenge, once these feel settled I’ll keep adding on from there. And also log about workouts occasionally and stuff.

 

My habit change this go around is motivated and going to be informed in large part by a podcast on habit formation that I listened to recently, it recommended a couple of strategies that I’ll be using a mixture of to make these habit changes stick:

  • To form habits you want, make them obvious, attractive, easy, and satisfying; make undesirable habits the opposite
  • Focus on forming habits in chunks of 2 minutes or less that you can do 98% of the time
  • Have clear trigger times/cues for the new habits
  • Focus on process and identity to make habit change stick (ie the habit isn’t tied to an outcome like losing weight, but to being the type of person who makes consistently smart choices with food)

 

Habits I’ll be targeting:

  • Giving my cell phone a new home at my apartment - it currently charges on my counter in the center of my living room and leads to a lot of extra Facebook, insta, etc scrolling that I could do without. I’ll move it to charging on my desk that’s off in the corner of the main living area, and it’ll go there as soon as I walk in the door for the evening; my goal is to only social media during meal times, not whenever I want a ping of distraction
  • Similarly, giving my phone a new home at work - it’ll live in my desk drawer except during meal breaks when it’s ok to social media; goal here is to become the type of person who focuses on work and socializes with my coworkers when I need a break
  • I want to be the type of athlete who does some restorative stretching and self massage every night; start right after brushing my teeth
  • I also want to be the type of person who prays every day. We’re going to start very small here, ~2 minutes of reflecting on what I’m grateful to God for, every day when hearing up my lunch and right after the stretching
  • I also want to be the type of athlete who makes smart food choices, specifically around how much junk food I eat. Goal is to eat 2,700-2,900 calories a day consistently (ideally 120g+ protein and plenty of carbs), process by which I’ll get there is tracking everything I eat and doing a post mortem in the morning if I don’t hit the range I’m aiming for to figure out a plan for next time. This should amount to a cut, but stage one is just consistently hitting the calories target cause that’s the part I’ve historically struggled with

 

Okay, that’s a classic Mike Wazowski wall of text, time to get crackin’ on the habit changes. After getting through thanksgiving and the head cold I developed earlier this week.

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16 hours ago, MikeW said:

Focus on forming habits in chunks of 2 minutes or less that you can do 98% of the time

First, greetings and salutations. 

:)

I am curious--what do you mean by this? 

 

16 hours ago, MikeW said:

I also want to be the type of person who prays every day. We’re going to start very small here, ~2 minutes of reflecting on what I’m grateful to God for, every day when hearing up my lunch and right after the stretching

 

Having a rule of prayer has been a project of mine since the summer. Like you, I am not talking an extreme amount of time. My time is in the morning; now that school is in session and my internal clock is off for some reason, I need to orchestrate my mornings better. I need to make a point of making my lunches for the week on the weekend. Otherwise, I end up time crunched (means prayer doesn't happen). Good luck to you on this one :)

 

Wall of text? That's a problem? I don't understand. 

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17 hours ago, MikeW said:

I also want to be the type of person who prays every day. We’re going to start very small here, ~2 minutes of reflecting on what I’m grateful to God for, every day when hearing up my lunch and right after the stretching

My own opinion is that prayer is about quality rather than quantity. I suspect those with a gift of prayer manage to pray for long amounts of time. I just don't pray for extended amounts of time, and I pray a lot for other people at work (Hospital Chaplain).

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Hello!

 giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095bf7011e4e67354332

I'm totally interested in the practice of building habits. If we can build five habits every challenge, we'll be totally different people within a few challenges. Right? So far, not all the habits I've put in my challenges have stuck, but some have. Shrug. Even one habit per challenge is good compared to no changes. Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing you make your habits stick!

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On 11/22/2018 at 7:47 AM, Mad Hatter said:

Yay, you're here! I was wondering where you're at. Solid habit changes.

Yep, I disappeared, mainly due to grad school work. This semester had 2 classes for my program which was a LOT with dance and full time work - thankfully that’s winding down and I’ll never be doubled up on classes again!

 

Dont even know if I mentioned it, but I started a “micro master’s” program in statistics and data science. I’m sort of data science adjacent right now at work and looking to slowly shift more fully into that line of work - part of what’s motivating the job change, though it was also driven by them getting rid of my boss who’s the best manager I’ve ever had. And both opportunities I’ve interviewed for would be a pay raise, which wouldn’t hurt either.

 

On 11/22/2018 at 9:12 AM, Katerina said:

First, greetings and salutations. 

:)

Hello!!

 

On 11/22/2018 at 9:12 AM, Katerina said:

I am curious--what do you mean by this? 

Idea being, start out with a small chunk of a larger habit you’re building to make it more likely you’ll succeed almost all the time - 98%+ was what the podcast I listened to quoted. So for example, the prayer habit I’m working to build is about a 10-minute daily reflection called the examen, but I’m going to build up to it in about 2-minute chunks.

 

On 11/22/2018 at 9:12 AM, Katerina said:

Having a rule of prayer has been a project of mine since the summer. Like you, I am not talking an extreme amount of time. My time is in the morning; now that school is in session and my internal clock is off for some reason, I need to orchestrate my mornings better. I need to make a point of making my lunches for the week on the weekend. Otherwise, I end up time crunched (means prayer doesn't happen). Good luck to you on this one :)

Thanks, and good luck to you as well - we’ll find a way to make this work!

 

On 11/22/2018 at 9:12 AM, Katerina said:

Wall of text? That's a problem? I don't understand. 

Haha I’ve slowly accepted I’m not someone who’ll ever make posts pretty with gifs. But gotta joke about it too.

 

On 11/22/2018 at 9:46 AM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

My own opinion is that prayer is about quality rather than quantity. I suspect those with a gift of prayer manage to pray for long amounts of time. I just don't pray for extended amounts of time, and I pray a lot for other people at work (Hospital Chaplain).

I don’t disagree, but if we’re working from a personal relationship model for prayer life, God’s currently the friend I send a hurried “happy <insert holiday here>” text to once every couple months. So a little increase in quantity would do me good. And the specific prayer form I’m looking at (the examen from Jesuit spirituality) has elements of mindfulness and gratitude built in so it should be useful to build into a daily habit.

 

On 11/22/2018 at 1:23 PM, Harriet said:

Hello!

 giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095bf7011e4e67354332

I'm totally interested in the practice of building habits. If we can build five habits every challenge, we'll be totally different people within a few challenges. Right? So far, not all the habits I've put in my challenges have stuck, but some have. Shrug. Even one habit per challenge is good compared to no changes. Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing you make your habits stick!

Hello!! Totally makes sense on the math, shame that practical habit building seems so much thornier in practice.

 

Hanit building update:

- New home for the phone: on hold til I’m back to normal routines post T-day

- Prayer: 0/3 so far - gonna need to remember this one tonight

- Stretches: 3/3

- Food: 2/2 (T-day excluded ex ante from this goal)

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10 hours ago, MikeW said:

I don’t disagree, but if we’re working from a personal relationship model for prayer life, God’s currently the friend I send a hurried “happy <insert holiday here>” text to once every couple months. So a little increase in quantity would do me good. And the specific prayer form I’m looking at (the examen from Jesuit spirituality) has elements of mindfulness and gratitude built in so it should be useful to build into a daily habit.

  

I didn't mean quantity in the prayers per day sense, I meant quantity in the minutes per prayer sense. I do agree more frequent prayer is a good thing. FWIW I come from a non-liturgical tradition without set prayers, so I tend to make it up as a go along.

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6 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I didn't mean quantity in the prayers per day sense, I meant quantity in the minutes per prayer sense. I do agree more frequent prayer is a good thing. FWIW I come from a non-liturgical tradition without set prayers, so I tend to make it up as a go along.

Oh I knew what you meant. But I also could benefit from a minutes per prayer increase - hence the quick and infrequent text analogy. I’ve only recently become aware of non-rote ways of praying in the catholic tradition, and they’ve proven...challenging...to wrap my brain around. In due time, I’m sure.

 

Hanit building update:

- New home for the phone: on hold til I’m back to normal routines post T-day

- Prayer: 0/4 so far - should happen when I’m unwinding at home tonight

- Stretches: 3/4

- Food: 3/3 (T-day excluded ex ante from this goal)

 

A late to bed night was not good for my evening habits yesterday. Whoops. But still, enjoyable time watching a movie with my dad is not a bad reason to stay up late. Flying home tonight, then back to normal routines (workouts every work day, dance training most days, grad school Saturday morning and Sunday evening) for the week (plus getting a suit tailored before an interview next week - the downside of changing my physique quite a bit this year is needing to take my suit in at the waist).

 

Also, caught my typo in the thread name - we’re gonna pretend it’s a portmanteau of habit and rabbit (I’m sprinting into new habits?) and move on.

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18 hours ago, MikeW said:

A late to bed night was not good for my evening habits yesterday. Whoops. But still, enjoyable time watching a movie with my dad is not a bad reason to stay up late. Flying home tonight, then back to normal routines (workouts every work day, dance training most days, grad school Saturday morning and Sunday evening) for the week (plus getting a suit tailored before an interview next week - the downside of changing my physique quite a bit this year is needing to take my suit in at the waist).

 

 

Yay for smaller waists. Nerd fitness has done the same for me. What kind of dance do you do, and it is just for fun? 

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On 11/24/2018 at 3:34 PM, MikeW said:

Also, caught my typo in the thread name - we’re gonna pretend it’s a portmanteau of habit and rabbit (I’m sprinting into new habits?) and move on.

Actually, I thought you were crossing hobbit and habit :) No judgment here!

 

On 11/23/2018 at 10:15 PM, MikeW said:

habit you’re building to make it more likely you’ll succeed almost all the time - 98%+ was what the podcast I listened to quoted. So for example, the prayer habit I’m working to build is about a 10-minute daily reflection called the examen, but I’m going to build up to it in about 2-minute chunks.

I love it! Thanks for sharing :)

 

Like Harriet, I am curious about dancing. 

 

As for blowing off goals for a night to spend time with your dad, you DEFINITELY made the right choice. The goals will always be there in one form or another. 

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On 11/25/2018 at 10:22 AM, Harriet said:

Yay for smaller waists. Nerd fitness has done the same for me. What kind of dance do you do, and it is just for fun? 

Indeed, it's a good problem to have. I'm a ballroom and latin dancer (latin only for competing on my own) and I'd call myself de facto "semi-professional" at this point - I technically compete in an amateur division, but I teach students 3x / week (most adorable little kids / awkward tweens) and will travel to world championships to compete in the next year or two. Oh, and I compete in the same-sex division, which is a very recent development.

 

3 hours ago, Katerina said:

Actually, I thought you were crossing hobbit and habit :) No judgment here!

Oooh, that's even better!! I do eat like a hobbit (2+ breakfasts a day) and I'm about the size of one, so it's perfect!

 

3 hours ago, Katerina said:

I love it! Thanks for sharing :)

=)

 

3 hours ago, Katerina said:

Like Harriet, I am curious about dancing. 

See above.

 

3 hours ago, Katerina said:

As for blowing off goals for a night to spend time with your dad, you DEFINITELY made the right choice. The goals will always be there in one form or another. 

Agreed - it served the higher purpose of family bonding time, although 

 

38 minutes ago, raptron said:

Hiyaaaa! 

Helloooooo!

 

38 minutes ago, raptron said:

Is grad school a new development?! What are you studying? 

Grad school is new this past semester, I maybe mentioned it once before disappearing for the past couple months. I'm studying Statistics and Data Science, aka leaning fully into my nerdiness. I found a "micro-master's" program run by MIT through EdX, a non-profit MOOC provider, and the pricepoint for a verified certificate was right - $300 per course, total of $1500 for the full program - still unclear if I'll be able to get work to pay for it, but if not, still something I found valuable to cover out of pocket.

 

14 minutes ago, CourtnieMarie said:

good luck in the habbit laboratory!

 

ihave.jpg

^^^ Actual footage of me in the kitchen most days.

 

We'll call Sunday day 1 of week 0:

 

Habit building update:

- New home for the phone: 1/1 - it was a weird adjustment not having it readily accessible on the counter, but it felt like the good kind of weird for now.

- Prayer: 0.5/1 - very half-hearted effort last night

- Stretches: 1/1 - been actually starting while brushing my teeth - I have an electric toothbrush with a built in timer, so it's pretty easy to do a hip flexor stretch or something similar while brushing

- Food: 1/1 (made a bomb quiche for dinner - still a lot of tweaking needed on the recipe / practice needed on homemade pie crust, but it was delish!)

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7 hours ago, MikeW said:

Prayer: 0.5/1 - very half-hearted effort last night

Honestly, I think this may just be a yesterday thing. I had every intention of going to church, but my son asked me to meet him, and much to my (pleasant) surprise, our coffeehouse date lasted several hours. I am totally fine with that, but it did throw my day into a tailspin. (See Harriet's commentary on the value of the box. If my routine gets thrown, it is hard for me to recover.) 

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23 hours ago, CourtnieMarie said:

stretching while brushing your teeth is the best! i started doing it idk how many years ago and never looked back.

Definitely a habit I'm hooked on - seems to make the actual tooth brushing time pass at least a little quicker too.

 

16 hours ago, Katerina said:

Honestly, I think this may just be a yesterday thing. I had every intention of going to church, but my son asked me to meet him, and much to my (pleasant) surprise, our coffeehouse date lasted several hours. I am totally fine with that, but it did throw my day into a tailspin. (See Harriet's commentary on the value of the box. If my routine gets thrown, it is hard for me to recover.) 

Oh yes, I feel you on the routine tailspin - I didn't realize until recently how much of a creature of habit I really am, especially when it comes to keeping my home in order day to day during the work week.

 

Habit building update:

- New home for the phone: 2/2 - weird, but good weird at both work and home

- Prayer: 1.5/2 - felt very good to reflect on the little gratitudes from my day, including kind words from a co-worker and a really fun and productive dance practice (plus having a cheerily bright and warm apartment to come home to for a late dinner)

- Stretches: 2/2

- Food: 2/2

 

Monday was a whirlwind of a day - got a call to set up a final round interview with my leading contender for a new job (did I mention I'm job hunting?) and hopefully will have that set up for late next week. Also had a solid, productive work day (1st day back from the holiday) and took my suit in for tailoring - did not realize how many alterations it would benefit from, and excited to wear the final product next week. Oh, and had a bomb dance practice - things felt like they were clicking in my body, and my partner and I felt like we made real progress, including on the musicality topic we picked up from Sunday's group class that made our rumba feel SO different.

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1 hour ago, MikeW said:

 

Monday was a whirlwind of a day - got a call to set up a final round interview with my leading contender for a new job (did I mention I'm job hunting?) and hopefully will have that set up for late next week. Also had a solid, productive work day (1st day back from the holiday) and took my suit in for tailoring - did not realize how many alterations it would benefit from, and excited to wear the final product next week. Oh, and had a bomb dance practice - things felt like they were clicking in my body, and my partner and I felt like we made real progress, including on the musicality topic we picked up from Sunday's group class that made our rumba feel SO different.

I hope you find that job, kill it, and mount it over your fireplace.

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Ahh so excited to see things moving along with your new partner! Have you competed together yet? Any thoughts on doing any competitions in NYC? *eyebrow waggle* hahah :)

 

I really like the habit forming tips from the podcast.  I particularly like that it says start out with something super achievable and with an easy trigger.  It really makes so much sense but I feel like I always go about this not that way.

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14 hours ago, Raxie said:

I really like the habit forming tips from the podcast.  I particularly like that it says start out with something super achievable and with an easy trigger.  It really makes so much sense but I feel like I always go about this not that way.

Same, and it does make me wonder!

What podcast was this btw? The tips sort of ring a bell...

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On 11/27/2018 at 1:55 PM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I hope you find that job, kill it, and mount it over your fireplace.

That is the hope. I've got my suit in to a tailor, planning a haircut later this week, and will do some interview prep this weekend to make sure I'm ready to walk in next Friday guns-a-blazing to land the job.

 

On 11/27/2018 at 3:09 PM, Raxie said:

Ahh so excited to see things moving along with your new partner! Have you competed together yet? Any thoughts on doing any competitions in NYC? *eyebrow waggle* hahah :)

Yep! We did our first competition in mid-October, before officially partnering up - it was just a small collegiate comp in Dallas, but it was super fun to put our syllabus stuff out there - especially because we were the best dancers the college kids had seen in-person by far, so we got lots of adoring fans for the day (didn't hurt that a guy-guy couple is immediately eye-catching in the warmup area, even before we take the floor, lol). There's actually a big collegiate comp in NYC this weekend that was on our radar, but the plan we ended up going with didn't have it in the cards this time around. But I for sure want to make a NYC trip happen again, maybe even just for a camp if a comp doesn't quite work in our plans - I LOVE NYC whenever I visit, so much energy and liveliness to the place.

 

We're mostly doing collegiate comps because they typically allow same-sex couples in the same pool as the other couples, rather than having a small, separate division for same-sex (which is what some USADance comps do) or not offering anything for same-sex (which is what NDCA comps currently do). There's also a few same-sex specific comps every year, though I don't know much about them, yet, and probably also world championships that we'll slot into our calendar whenever we can. Still figuring all that out though, thankfully we've got plenty of time to nail things down.

 

On 11/27/2018 at 3:09 PM, Raxie said:

I really like the habit forming tips from the podcast.  I particularly like that it says start out with something super achievable and with an easy trigger.  It really makes so much sense but I feel like I always go about this not that way.

On 11/28/2018 at 5:39 AM, Mad Hatter said:

Same, and it does make me wonder!

What podcast was this btw? The tips sort of ring a bell...

I am super guilty of not going about it that way normally. Here's hoping I'm turning over a new leaf permanently now, and not just temporarily.

 

Podcast was "Afford Anything", but the guest talking about habits was James Clear (though he also nods towards Charles Duhigg and a few other habit-formation researchers, probably part of why it seems familiar). Full disclosure, AA is a bit more personal finance / financial independence focused as a podcast and may or may not be anyone's jam (it happens to be very much mine), but Paula (the host) occasionally has guests with specialties in related fields come on (since much of spending is habitual, talking about habits still has a clear financial independence connection).

 

Week 1, Days 2 and 3:

Bit of a whirlwind - I didn't get a ton of sleep Monday night, but powered through a morning workout and a cranky day on Tuesday, then came home and just relaxed with a movie (Ant Man and the Wasp, first time seeing it) and homemade quiche / roasted veggies. Wednesday started with a doctor's appointment and I also fit in a car wash and workout into my work day, so combine that with chatting with colleagues and very little real work got done. Whatever, I'm still ahead of schedule on my projects so no one can complain too much. Then taught dance class and had a lesson with my coach on samba - the bar has been raised a LOT there, plus in my footwork everywhere (apparently, I can articulate a much stronger ball of foot than I've built into my muscle memory, so I've got a lot of fun retraining to do with my feet - I was ticked in the moment but I'm excited today looking back on it).

 

- New home for the phone: 4/4 - still weird, but still good

- Prayer: 3.5/4 - feeling very good - key here appears to have been deliberately stopping my podcasts / music before brushing my teeth and allowing my go-to sleep time (grooming, stretching, and praying) to be nice and silent

- Stretches: 4/4

- Food: 4/4

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25 minutes ago, MikeW said:

Yep! We did our first competition in mid-October, before officially partnering up - it was just a small collegiate comp in Dallas, but it was super fun to put our syllabus stuff out there - especially because we were the best dancers the college kids had seen in-person by far, so we got lots of adoring fans for the day (didn't hurt that a guy-guy couple is immediately eye-catching in the warmup area, even before we take the floor, lol).


TWICE as many suits! I assume dancers must wear fancy suits. 

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19 hours ago, MikeW said:

but the guest talking about habits was James Clear

Ah yeah I have the book sitting on my to read shelf. 

 

19 hours ago, MikeW said:

Yep! We did our first competition in mid-October, before officially partnering up - it was just a small collegiate comp in Dallas, but it was super fun to put our syllabus stuff out there - especially because we were the best dancers the college kids had seen in-person by far, so we got lots of adoring fans for the day (didn't hurt that a guy-guy couple is immediately eye-catching in the warmup area, even before we take the floor, lol).

Ooh nice, congrats!

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