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May 08, 2019 11:28:13

Massive change can start with tying your shoelaces

by @rosieodsey PATRON | 306 words | 52🔥 | 136💌

Rosie Odsey

Current day streak: 52🔥
Total posts: 136💌
Total words: 46209 (184 pages 📄)

One of my friends recently got interested in clothes. I think that deep down we all want to care in some way shape or form. He just started watching a few videos on male fashion and changed a few small things.

One of those things was that he changed the way he ties his shoe laces.

It turns out, you can tie them so they sit like this: 8
or you can tie them so they sit like this ∞

He had been doing the 8 and he wanted to switch to the ∞

Like any form of behaviour change, it takes both:
(a) avoid an autopilot into the old way
(b) remember the steps to doing it the new way

He was mentioning to me that there's a cross-over point where you can now autopilot into either because both feel natural.

At this point, it's a bit more interesting because you have to:
(a) remember to start doing it the new way (if you start, the rest of the steps will come because you know them already)
(b) notice if you've accidentally done it the old way

In one of my first sessions with Matthew (my psychologist), we were talking about quitting smoking. He said that it would be worth trying to change something smaller: could you get up on a different side of the bed? switch hands for brushing teeth? open the door with a different hand? start going up steps with the other foot?

Why? Because if we never change anything then changing the addiction is like trying to climb Everest without any training. I'm sure some people could but the odds aren't great.

Eventually, the ∞ laces will just happen any time my friend laces his shoes.

And I'm excited for this.

Because if he can change that, imagine what else he can change.

  • 1

    @rosieodsey thanks for this encouraging post (thanks also Matthew), i'm looking forward to tomorrow. not only to read some more of your work, but also to continue to change up something (small) myself.

    harold avatar harold | May 12, 2019 00:04:58
    • 1

      @harold41 thank you for sharing! (and I'll pass on your thanks to Matthew when I see him next). I'd love to hear how it goes. All the best.

      Rosie Odsey avatar Rosie Odsey | May 12, 2019 21:57:05
  • 1

    @rosieodsey I'm still fixated on how you typed the infinity symbol ;) I like the idea of changing up routines to keep the brain flexible. Regarding shoelaces, for many years as I kid I had velcro tennis shoes, and to this day I blame those for my inability to keep shoelaces tied all the time.

    Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | May 08, 2019 07:53:14
  • 1

    @rosieodsey - hmmm feels so different to think about changing something you don't care about -- like which hand you eat with, versus something you really want to control. A good book I listened to is How to be an Imperfectionist


    Worth a look.

    Brian Ball avatar Brian Ball | May 07, 2019 18:33:54
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