# Artificial Habit forming vs out of necessity

#### Rebis

##### Blessed are the hearts that can bend
I pick up a lot of habits that sustain themselves for a respectable period, yet they drop out of sight when I don't maintain them. I see a lot of people trying hard to create habits that'll ultimately make them a more productive person (Waking up at 6:30, planning days in periodic intervals and tidying your room (Thanks JBP). Yet, often times than not people do not sustain these habits as they've had a slice of that lifestyle (Neat Freak, Avid Reader, GYM Rat etc).

I don't think the problem is habit formation for most, or at least for me. The problem is seeing the fundamental, long-term benefits of sustaining such a habit and how it will benefit them in the future. If I maintain a habit long-term I can usually see most of the benefits in a short period, there are diminishing returns if I sustain that over a long period which suggests moderation, or switching out habits is better if you're not a highly-productive person. For example, being neat is nice in some respects, it's nice to get out a folded piece of clothing from your drawer. It's nice to wake up, brush your teeth and change in a period of 5 minutes. But, if you're focused on doing work on your computer to a degree in which you can ignore the mess, you'll only realise some mess once you come out of the zone. It looks nice to fold your clothes but you rarely look in your clothing drawers, so the orderly behaviour will only be appreciated like 2-3 times a day.

Simply put, I think most habits are pleasing to have once you reap the rewards of the habit, but the reason they aren't sustained isn't because you're bad at forming habits, maybe it's because you don't see the utility in maintaining a habit. If you did see the utility and saw the benefits as something necessary to your life then I think they'd be easily adopted. You see people watch youtube videos of the methodical plan that businessmen go through where they have something like 15-20 tasks a day and think "hey, I could do that!". You could, sure, but the reason they have such a routine is because they're highly productive individuals and they need to plan out their days in a strict fashion in order to maintain that level of productivity. Businessmen do it out of necessity, not because they think it'd be cool to pick up a habit.

#### Rebis

##### Blessed are the hearts that can bend
Even exercise, like sure it has its benefits and they are numerous, but maybe the benefits of exercise and the time used to maintain that can be switched for another habit that yields more benefits for the situation you're dealing with. For example, exercise improves health and in some ways would improve cognition and clarity. However, let's say you were just boiled down in work and the extra hour or so looking over a subect would optimally beneficial in the short-term, while a week or two if little exercise wouldn't exactly be unhealthy if you'd been working out frequently beforehand.
So after going hard at your work for two weeks, you'd start to become dull due to having a single-track mind and feel a mood slump because you're skipping out on physical exercise. You pick up exercise again and within 1-2 exercises you're back on track.

I think cyclical habits are better than compulsive habits. For the general person, with a general life that requires unpredictable circumstances, maintaining habits are the antithesis to adaptation. There are INTJs out there that can't handle when their routine is interupted. Don't beat yourself up for not upholding a habit, it doesn't necessarily indicate you're lazy.

#### Yubby

##### Redshirt
Post #1 It seems to me that you get more out of life if you put in more effort, from even the simple effect of being prepared for opportunities. People are still different from one another and it's the political-economic monoculture that makes a particular habit seem undesirable but truth is every person could find a habit they don't like or see the need for in another person.

Post #2 That's a good idea. You're not letting your reward centers get too comfortable it sounds like.

#### ZenRaiden

##### One atom of me
I do not know why you are telling people what habits work for you. I am pretty certain we two do not share life goals, so reasonably we should have different habits.
All people must figure out what habits work best for them personally. Maybe habits that work for you best would do little for others vice versa.
In other words you stick to what works for you, but do not expect others to do the same.
Why people fail at habit forming is pretty simple. Lack of consistence and lack of motivation and lack of reasonable goal setting.
If you know what you want you will pretty soon find a good habit and then just be consistent. After that just be motivated enough to keep at the goal.
One way to not lose connection to the goal is to simply think of achieving the goal and imagining what it would feel like.
Now this is what works for me, but I think other people might fail for entirely other reasons. Habits should be your personal thing. Enforcing habits on others is for the military or some such industry, but its not for personal life or solitary activities.

#### Ex-User (14663)

##### Prolific Member
yeah this has been my thinking all long

I don't want to be a negative nancy or anything but to me alot of the lifestyle tips fall into a category I like to call "form without function", as in the opposite of "form follows function". They learn, say, Elon Musk always wakes up at 6AM, and since Elon Musk is successful this means I will be successful if I wake up at 6AM. In the end though, waking up at 6AM doesn't change anything as far as the real problems in life go. In the end I think one gets short-term pleasure out of new self-discipline routines because they are easy, compared to the rest of the things in life which are typically very hard and extremely complicated.

#### peoplesuck

##### is escaping
Even exercise, like sure it has its benefits and they are numerous, but maybe the benefits of exercise and the time used to maintain that can be switched for another habit that yields more benefits for the situation you're dealing with
I dont really see exercise being replaced with anything more useful, unless you have a heart condition or something.

The main issue is people picking up habits, but not knowing how to use them. Waking up at 6am is so that you can work in silence, at your peak energy level. It isnt so that you are up before the sun, its to use your most efficient hours, on your personal project, not a braindead job.
*person wakes up at 6am, watches youtube and eats cherios*
"why is this not improving my life"

keeping a todo list, is not so that you know what to do, its to keep track of how much you are accomplishing, and keeping track of time wasted.

Exercise's main function shouldnt even be weight loss, it should be the health benefits. feelings of wellbeing, focus, clarity, these are kinda important in every scenario..
The difference between waking up at 6am, running a mile in the winter, coming home, taking an ice cold shower, and waking up at 8am, are completely different.

I would say keeping your room clean is up there, but not for the sake of finding your fucking pencil faster.

reading too, but not for learning, just for relaxing, and improving brain power.

people see this stuff as surface level, but its much deeper.

#### Rebis

##### Blessed are the hearts that can bend
I do not know why you are telling people what habits work for you.

Sure you do, it's called "perspective".

I dont really see exercise being replaced with anything more useful, unless you have a heart condition or something.
I agree exercise is of great use, but it's an activity that takes up time like any other. That time can be substituted.

#### peoplesuck

##### is escaping
I do not know why you are telling people what habits work for you.

Sure you do, it's called "perspective".

I dont really see exercise being replaced with anything more useful, unless you have a heart condition or something.
I agree exercise is of great use, but it's an activity that takes up time like any other. That time can be substituted.
you are either implying you dont have 15 minutes to exercise, or are thinking of exercise as strength training, rather than cardio. It takes about 14 minutes to run a mile, at a slow pace, so, for 14 minutes you get your heart rate up, blood flowing, and woken up.
unrealistic to say exercise is time consuming.
also you can do lots of things while jogging....

#### Rebis

##### Blessed are the hearts that can bend
Most people exercise in a gym, time included is to and from the gym, bringing gym clothes with you (or going home to get them.)

#### peoplesuck

##### is escaping
doing cardio in a gym is for tiny women, who are afraid to be kidnapped.
or people who cant handle the weather.

man the fuck up, and put on ur big girl boots.

#### Yellow

##### for the glory of satan
Neurons that fire together, wire together -- as the ol' saying goes.

Whether the habit is made out of necessity or choice plays second fiddle to how your brain wraps around the process. For example, you don't need to know the intrinsic value of methamphetamine for your brain to very quickly reinforce a habit.

In more mundane examples, you're more likely to permanently adopt an exercise regime than a dietary one because we have more reward channels surrounding creamy, salty, sweet foods than with avoiding movement.

On a similar note, we all possess roughly equivalent willpower. Merely, we're interested and talented in different things. If my legs were longer than my torso, I'd be more likely to enjoy running for sport. I'd get more out of it for less effort. But I don't. On account of the stubby legs.

#### EndogenousRebel

##### We're all trying our best. Aren't we?
I agree exercise is of great use, but it's an activity that takes up time like any other. That time can be substituted.
Most people exercise in a gym, time included is to and from the gym, bringing gym clothes with you (or going home to get them.)
Optimization is important for these reasons. After 45 minutes of an elevated heart rate the returns aren't much worth it unless you are an athlete. If you wanna look buff that's a different story, but I'm sure it's also achievable with time and diet.

There is no point in trying to have habits or a system if it is hard to enact. Just look at the amazing human body. Two people fuck and something is created, catalyzed through chemical processes. It's as simple as cause and effect to a degree. Take note from nature and refine your process over billions of years, it should come as natural.

#### EndogenousRebel

##### We're all trying our best. Aren't we?
But no, this is why things cost money. Get weights or a machine, implement some sort of routine that you can do at home. Even if you only do something intense for like 5 minutes, do it a couple times a day and it will add up by the end of the month.

#### ZenRaiden

##### One atom of me
Sure you do, it's called "perspective".
OK fair point. I do understand your perspective.

#### Rebis

##### Blessed are the hearts that can bend
I agree exercise is of great use, but it's an activity that takes up time like any other. That time can be substituted.
Most people exercise in a gym, time included is to and from the gym, bringing gym clothes with you (or going home to get them.)
Optimization is important for these reasons. After 45 minutes of an elevated heart rate the returns aren't much worth it unless you are an athlete. If you wanna look buff that's a different story, but I'm sure it's also achievable with time and diet.

There is no point in trying to have habits or a system if it is hard to enact. Just look at the amazing human body. Two people fuck and something is created, catalyzed through chemical processes. It's as simple as cause and effect to a degree. Take note from nature and refine your process over billions of years, it should come as natural.

Yeah any exercise is good exercise, maybe it's just from my perspective: I'm flexible with stuff but I think of optimisation a lot, so the idea of exercising for a small amount is not considered. At base, it must be a certain time (Around 45-1h) for a good exercise. I'm not sure if that's perfectionism or a gambler's fallacy but it's something I think about. I would never code for 15 minute periods, for example. Travelling to and from a gym 20 minutes each way for a 15 minute exercise can seem ineffective.

#### EndogenousRebel

##### We're all trying our best. Aren't we?
You can work wonders with simple body weight exercises that don't need equipment. Burpees were designed by the devil himself. Just have some sort of heart rate monitor and sustain it. I personally wanna invest in weights, like dumbbells. It would take time to have a full set, but you don't have to pay $10-$40 a month over the year(s), and it would compress how much time it takes to reach target heart rate. Maybe that motivates you to go, but I find doing things at your own pace so long as you are persistent, is better for quality of life.

#### peoplesuck

##### is escaping
Most people exercise in a gym, time included is to and from the gym, bringing gym clothes with you (or going home to get them.)
False. most people dont exercise. therefore, dont exercise.

[/QUOTE]

Yeah any exercise is good exercise, maybe it's just from my perspective: I'm flexible with stuff but I think of optimisation a lot, so the idea of exercising for a small amount is not considered. At base, it must be a certain time (Around 45-1h) for a good exercise. I'm not sure if that's perfectionism or a gambler's fallacy but it's something I think about. I would never code for 15 minute periods, for example. Travelling to and from a gym 20 minutes each way for a 15 minute exercise can seem ineffective.
[/QUOTE]

what are your goals with exercising? because you can put a massive strain on your body in a very short period of high intensity exercise. go run for 15mins, find a pace you can only keep up for 15mins, go no slower, its actually really fkn taxing. the fact that you are saying this, makes me think you have never done high intensity exercising in your life. its a wonderful way to start a day, along with jumpstarting your systems.

why do you need to be at a gym? why do you need special gym clothes? cmon rebs, you cant be a rebellious hipster, and care so much about what people think, that you cant run on sidewalks.
if these things actually keep you form achieving your goals of fitness, you didnt really want them.
Its like a person picking up job applications, but never filling them out and returning them, they just live on the high of picking up applications, feeling like they accomplished something.
when I wanted to be healthy, I ran every morning, no matter the weather, rain and snow, in jeans and a t-shirt. I had shin splints for a month straight, and stopped when I had a heart attack.
if u want it
go get it

its like bruce lee said, to hell with circumstances, im do whatever the fuk I want, yolo.

thinking you need a gym membership is like a fat person waiting for the new year, to make a resolution, because the stars need to align for you to go after your goal. jus do it, get dis bred,