Wednesday, February 29, 2012


So, as promised, I'm going to do a little retrospective on my last several months as a blogger. To be completely honest, what I saw as I reread the last 10 months of my life were cyclical phases of confidence, obedience, self-loathing, and pride. I remembered how I felt while writing those old entries and what was going on in my life at the time and tried looking for triggers, external circumstances that affected my emotions and choices and I couldn't come up with too many.

There are the obvious physiological triggers; me getting into a habit of saying yes to those urges made them more difficult to say no to later.  But as far as external circumstances or emotional triggers were concerned, I had a hard time coming up with a conclusive list.  In fact, as toxic as my relationships with some old friends were, they occasionally inspired me to try harder. Their advances, while tempting, sometimes repulsed me and scared me into being better.  (That's not to say those relationships weren't damaging. Just saying.)

So, since the only real trigger I could figure out related more to self-control than anything, I started researching good self-control techniques. The most interesting one to me is the theory that exercising temperance in one aspect of daily life can increase one's control over his actions and thoughts, even unrelated ones. The mere act of forcing oneself to do something out of the ordinary on a habitual basis is shown to exercise the parts of the brain in charge of impulse control. Makes sense, no?

So, in addition to creating distance between me and my enablers, I'm going to try this concept. As I was thinking about something I don't naturally do, the obvious answer came: exercise. I get lots of exercise at work (I once figured out I walk about 5 miles per shift, lifting heavy objects the whole time) but my activity at work isn't regulated by the part of my brain that controls impulses. I feel compelled to work because I like having food and wearing clothes. So then, what if I took some free time and dedicated it to more organized exercise? My natural impulse would be to get home, take a shower, and be lazy for the next three hours. But what if I took a jog for awhile after I got home? Or before work in the morning?

So yeah. That's that. I'm registering right now for a half-marathon in June, which should give me plenty of time to convert my decent muscular fitness into some hella-good aerobic aptitude. I've set a goal to keep me motivated and I'm really hoping that all of that, combined with some redoubled spiritual effort, will help me kick those bad habits.


  1. Awesome! Good for you!

    I've thought about this concept too. There's a scripture somewhere about how if you can bridal your tongue, you can bridal your whole body. I've thought about that when I've been tempted to gossip or criticize. If I practice resisting the urge to gossip, it will help me resist other urges in my life.

  2. **bridle (Am I an English teacher or not??)


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