Life hacks hacked: Small changes are habit forming

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So my Project May 2016 is over and we are now a few days into June so I have had time to reflect on how it went. To recap, I got tired of reading life hack after life hack and wanted to put some to the test. There were some trends I wanted to put to the test. These were:

 

  1. Small changes are habit forming
  2. A healthy diet would probably make me feel better
  3. More exercise would probably make me feel better
  4. Organising my time better would lead to benefits – particularly to my PhD study
  5. Getting up earlier – because it is supposed to make you superhuman
  6. And loads of other stuff that I can’t possibly believe but hey, let’s see…

I charted my progress weekly here But let’s take these point by point on reflection, now the month is over:

  1. Small changes are habit forming

Yes, that is correct. I attempted to run an average of 2 miles a day for the 31 days of May and succeeded. It felt like I had a goal and I made an effort to put runs in because I had already put runs in and wanted to keep the momentum. I completed 63 miles in total last month. I hurt my back at the weekend and haven’t done much running since and I already miss it and want to get straight back out there.

  1. A healthy diet would probably make me feel better

I dropped the Chubster diet mid-May because I felt it wasn’t doing me any favours and switched to low carb calorie control. Since then I have felt 100 times better and dropped from 16st 11lbs (102.30kg) to 16st 07lbs (102.04kg). I feel slightly trimmer and a result I want to carry on. It has also made me feel ver positive. Combined with the exercise, I’m sure it is reducing stress.

  1. More exercise would probably make me feel better

Undoubtedly I feel better for getting out there and doing exercise. I am looking forward to running again soon, hopefully this weekend.

  1. Organising my time better would lead to benefits – particularly to my PhD study.

I am being ruthless about the time I dedicate to my PhD research and I am convinced that I am benefitting from “just getting on with it” rather than procrastinating, which ultimately is just a waste of time. I have written a draft intro to my PhD, which will need a little work but that’s 6,000 words in the bag to build on.

  1. Getting up earlier – because it is supposed to make you superhuman

When I get up earlier, things do appear to go better, there’s no doubt about it. But when my alarm goes off I don’t care, I just want more sleep. I am yet to go for a run before work, but getting up slightly earlier has given me chance to read more and not rush my boys to get ready for school. There are certainly positives to getting up earlier. But there are also positives to going to bed late.

  1. And loads of other stuff that I can’t possibly believe but hey, let’s see…

The biggest unforeseen positive is that I want to carry on, to take what I’ve learned about exercise, diet, use of time and getting up earlier and build on it. This blog post will now serve as a reminder of the things I have learned. Another outcome that may be linked is that I’ve written more blog posts and as a result written more towards my PhD, so in conclusion, to those armchair Yodas on @Medium who say:

  1. Small changes are habit forming

Yes, ok, I admit it. You might be on to something.