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99 - Habits

It seems (and I have not done any kind of research on this topic) that the “approved” way of learning things or learn to do things, is to form habits. Starting a habit is easy - everyone that has tried to live through a new years resolution knows that - but ingraining a habit is quite difficult)

There are apps (of course there are apps) that can help you - I stumbled upon lift.do a couple of days ago - but they are only a help. The habit forming has to come from you, and you need to really want to do whatever it is you are doing. Looking at my life, I’m working on ingraining several habits, some with more, some with less success.

Currently you are reading this blog, the second day of my 100 days, 100 blog posts habit that I started only yesterday. Will I succeed? Who knows. But it was already difficult to start writing this post (I’m so tired, that I would have preferred to go direct to bed)

Another habit I have started around 2 months ago (together with my wife) is to spend 11 minutes every morning on “personal fitness”. We are using the 5BX (and XBX for women) programs developed by Bill Orban in the 1950s at the Royal Canadian Air Force. You can find the  PDF of 5BX and XBX on the interwebs. After around 2 months this has become a normal part of our morning routine, and it just feels good to do it. Those programs have a number of easy exercises that are grouped into 5 or 6 charts with 12 levels each. Each level gets harder (more repetitions) and each chart gets harder (more difficult exercises)

I stumbled upon the 5BX program through David Meads book 10 Minute Guitar Workout (Amazon.de) 10 Minute Guitar Workout (Amazon.com). He uses the same format (5 charts, 12 levels) with different guitar exercises. I have been working on that daily for the last 2 or 3 months and notice constant improvements. So there is my next habit - daily practice of around 15-20 minutes (I use another David Mead book with 120 different exercises in 3 groups) -Basic Guitar Workout (Amazon.de) Basic Guitar Workout (Amazon.com). Highly recommended.

This in turn comes from another habit I have been pursuing for a bit over a year now. After an almost 10 year hiatus I have picked up my guitar again and started to learn to play guitar from scratch - using the fabulous web site justinguitar.com. Justin offers a free teaching website with 100s of Videos starting from scratch and going into all kinds of advanced topics. I practiced nearly ever day for a year (around 1 hour) and have made incredible progress. Highly highly recommended.

So these are the habits that govern my life at the moment. I am all too aware, how easy it is to break those habits - I remember a streak of meditation that lasted almost a 9 months that did me good, but that I ultimately didn’t pursue. I’m trying to take good care of my current habits. I will keep you posted on progress…

Jens-Christian Fischer

Maker. Musician