It’s so easy to break habits

Well, I could do with fixing my tea drinking habit. And my Pepsi Max addition. I could lighten up on the curries too, or at least if I stopped having so many I could perhaps lighten up.

But about six months ago I made a plan – and put it in OmniFocus – that every day I would post one article to this Blank Screen news site. Just one. After a while, it became a habit. And there was certainly never a shortage of material.

After a spell, that became frustrating: there was always more that I wanted to say.

So I worked out timings and figured out the average time per article – it’s ridiculously variable – and also reckoned that doing two together would take less time than doing one then coming back later for the next.

In my head I was about to change the repeating daily OmniFocus task to “Post three new articles” and I began typing exactly that. But somehow the word ‘three’ changed itself to ‘five’. A slip of the mind.

But I tried it. And for at least five months, I did five stories a day. It got so doing the five was a normal part of my day. Until the end of September.

Then various events I’ve been producing all year came along and last preparation, new marketing and new research followed by the performance, it clobbered me and I failed.

I failed to post at all one day.

I remember sitting by the bed, iPad in hand, not really able to focus my eyes let alone my head. It was probably a sensible decision to fall asleep, even if my body made that choice for me.


Having broken the chain once, that chain became china: it shattered at the break. It became very easy to not post at all.

Now, I don’t think you were waiting for me every day. But I was. And I’m jolted by how hard it was to break the pattern the first time yet how very, very easy it was to break it the second.

So I’m back. I promise myself and you that I’m back. But do please take a telling from my admitting to having been poor like this. You can do more than you expect with a habit and if you don’t break it, you feel great.

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