Deciding Factors

Living day to day is a term we often apply to changing or controlling our behavior. In many ways it’s very comfortable to imagine starting over each and every day, forgetting troubles from days before, and living oblivious of imminent troubles surely to come in the future.

It feels much more manageable to keep our behavior in line for one particular day than to imagine going without for, say, a year or a lifetime. This may contribute to the failure of New Year’s resolutions.

On the other hand, living moment to moment seems agonizing. Unlike deciding we will go without a cigarette or avoid drinking for a particular day, then reassess our choices tomorrow, making that decision over and over every few minutes feels like a doomed strategy. We know we are bound to let our cravings get the better of us or just simply grow too fatigued to battle anymore.

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Twice As Much

When I stop and look around, I realize that if I put 10% more effort into just about anything I do, I would benefit exponentially. What if you put 10% more effort into your job? Would you get a raise or somehow create more income? No? Well then, what if you put 10% more effort into looking for a new job or developing a side gig because that one apparently ain’t worth a damn? It seems our brains are accustomed to maintaining the status quo. We develop a tolerance for the work required and any additional effort is typically perceived as wasteful and uncomfortable. Isn’t this disturbing?

A few minutes exercise in addition to the daily amount of exercise we are used to doesn’t seem so bad in theory, but for most of us, it’s difficult to implement into our schedules consistently. Maybe you’re already a gym rat and exercise is a source of pleasure for you. It’s not so difficult for you to add another session. But what about job improvement? House cleaning? That project you’ve been meaning to start or finish?

In the aftermath of the 2007-2008 economical downturn I saw many local people angry that they had lost their homes, their jobs, their cars, and anything they owed debt on. Even after all of that has come and gone, have they bothered to read one goddamn financial book? Would they really have to put forth twice as much effort to avoid those pitfalls in the future? Or would 10% be just fine?

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Revelations on Resolutions

This year I will be doing a few things different. I’ve never been much on New Year’s resolutions but I do pay attention to the setting of goals and how they are negotiated. There are a few things I’ve picked up this last year that are likely to serve me well in the upcoming year. It seems that the whole resolution thing is tired and old. I recently heard about previous data that’s been used to determine just when the majority of people give up on their resolutions. It involved a cross reference between the uptick in fast food consumption and the downtick in gym usage. It’s very encouraging to know that we’re so poor at keeping resolutions that a watch can be set to our imminent failures. I think I’ll be trying something different this next year.

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