People

21 days


With the start of the new year, a lot of us are thinking, what we can do to better ourselves? If you’re one of these people, I’m betting you’ve heard it takes 21 days to form a habit.

In 1960, a plastic surgeon named Maxwell Maltz published a book called Psycho-Cybernetics in which he noted that amputees take 21 days on average to adjust to the loss of the limb.

And like most things, the internet found it somehow, took it, and ran with it.

If you Google, 21 days to form a habit you’ll find a slew of articles going back and forth on the concept. But when you look at the images, you find what people really believe or at least want to believe.

google image search

Anyone who has tried to do something new, every day for 21 days, knows how challenging this is. It’s challenging because they probably picked something that is hard for them. No one challenges themselves to brush their teeth every day for 21 days.

On the flip side, anyone who has managed to do a new thing for 21 days knows that there isn’t some magical awakening at the end of the time where suddenly you can do this thing with great ease.

This is where the 21 days concept is inherently flawed. We’re all different people. Some things are going to be harder for some people than others and more importantly, a habit isn’t formed in 21 days. It’s formed in every day that you do it. It literally means, “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.”

When you try to pick up a new thing for a set number of days, you’re not thinking in the mindset of habit forming. You’re thinking in a span of time. That’s not a habit. Like the time I tried to do something every day that I had never done before in an effort to experience more of life. I think I lasted 17 days and I did feel rather accomplished but the feeling was fleeting and I didn’t accomplish my overall goal of living more fully. Maybe in those 17 days I was a more adventurous person but it didn’t last because I gave up. I didn’t pace myself like you would when you want to keep doing something for a long time.

The other problem with the idea of 21 days to form a habit is how you perceive the goal you’ve just set up. Every day you don’t start, the task becomes harder. Let’s say you want to be a more consistent runner. Every day you don’t run, the task grows into a mountain. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have quantifiable goals. But when you want to make a change in yourself, there is no beginning, middle, and end. There’s just now and what you’re doing or not doing. If you want to be a runner or be a better runner or a more consistent runner, all you need to do, is run. Go, right now. Go do it.

The only difference between you and people who are where you want to be, is action.

You don’t need to do something for 21 days for it to become a part of you. You need to not give up on it and not give up on internalizing it.

I’ve failed many times. So many times, I’m tempted to call it a habit. But the thing that has brought me success in the end, is not stopping. And when you fail, don’t think of it as starting over. Think of what you’re trying to achieve as a road you’re walking down not a mountain you’re climbing. When you trip on the road, you can get back up, brush yourself off and keep going. When you fall off a mountain that’s much harder to do.

When you’re thinking of what you want to become or achieve this year, think about what you want the road behind you to look like.

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Travel

Things you’ll learn during an excursion


1) Always check to make sure the places you want to go are open.

I like being spontaneous. But I’m also impatient and I devastate easily. Biking my heart out to find a locked gate isn’t as much fun. But it was a good lesson to learn. 

2) Sometimes things look soft and harmless but they are really spiky, ninja weeds that will fuck your legs up.

I don’t think I’ll ever stop being a kid inside. While that sounds whimsical and fun, it’s also very stupid. Like when I hypothesized about breaking into the botanic gardens in town and hiked up the side of the hill to check for holes in the fence and ended up being pierced by a billion tiny thorns. Picture below.

3) Not all U-locks will save your bike. Watch this jerk open one with a pen. If you care about your bike, take the time to find a good lock for it.

I don’t actually have one. But I’ve seen bikes get stolen and I figured now was the time to make my public service announcement. Thank you.

4) Always bring water. Even if you don’t use it, it’s just better to have it. Especially if you don’t adhere to rule number one.

5) Bobby pins will keep your cap in place. Especially when you’re using someone else’s cap because you’re too lazy to buy your own.

Keep in mind the bobby pins will also try to pull the skin off of your skull when you’re biking down hill. Worth it.

6) Any bag has the potential to be a back pack. Just keep sticking your arms through the straps until one way works.

Make sure it closes well enough or people will assume you’re santa claus gifting your belongings to random passersby. 

7) Try to use your phone as little as possible when you’re on your excursion.

When you realize how incredibly hard this is, invest in a wrist watch that has a compass.

8) At every place you go, take in as much as you can. Even if it’s how much you hate the place.

9) Learn to not be bothered by bugs.

Almost every human being on the planet is a predator of bugs. There’s a whole industry dedicated to their demise. If they were going to disappear, they would be on their way to extinction by now.

10) Some items are invaluable such as paper towels, clothespins, and pockets.

11) Most mean people are teenagers.

Those teenagers are mean to adults and that’s how you get mean adults.

12) At the end of every good excursion there should be a nice, cold beer. And maybe a shower.

photo (5)

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Uncategorized

Walking with Orbison part four


I like like things together.

Alliteration gets me giddy.

Symmetry makes me smile.

And I think  know I’m obvious about it.

el lado coca cola de la vida

Coke is everywhere

This was taken in Nuevo Laredo while I was visiting my mother’s sister’s family. These things are an inch and a half tall.

You can look, but you can't touch

This is the second year I see these at Soriana. They’re four inches tall. I always touch them, I can’t handle the urge.

J.J.'s All Night Party Palace

Yea, I’m sure you’ve gathered this isn’t another walk with Orbison. But the photos I took while I was out with him today go well with these other one’s so here they are.

The Yellow Rose of Texas

I also like solid colors.

where do people buy cones?

I heard in the newsroom you can’t actually purchase these anywhere. I’ve owned a lot of cones.

we were so unprepared

Nugget

I don’t get people who don’t like the color green. It reminds me of life.

ORANGE.

I like to climb trees. Climbing things in general actually. Sometimes even elephants.

Texas Mountain Laurel

nopales

Cactus flores

My mother likes to eat these. She always points them out. I can’t help but notice them now, too.

Arriba!

Speedy?

Random taco truck I passed by. Sylvester and Tweety were on the other side. I want their tacos.

RED.

It’s weird how only some of the leaves get to turn red.

I miss my gazebo

the plaza

..

So dapperly dressed

What a dashing young pooch

There are those times when nothing in the world is greater than spending the day with your dog.

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Another new year’s resolution blog and this past year in pictures


Every day, I want to do something I’ve never done before.

I know this might sound ambitious, and it is, but it will surely lead to some interesting places.

Did you notice how incredibly vague this resolution is? I’m not a fan of boundaries.

That being said here are some of the things I want to do:

  • Travel to a place I’ve never been
  • Build something out of wood
  • Climb something I haven’t climbed yet
  • Corn Maze!
  • “Borrow” someone’s trampoline for the night
  • Make sushi
  • Dye my hair
  • Take photos of a whole bunch of fire extinguishers
  • Have that talk with dad
  • Build the glass terrariums
  • Jump in Hamilton Pool
  • Institute bring your dog to work day

It’s going to be harder every day so if you have any suggestions, please don’t be shy.

Here are some pictures of things I did this year I had never done before. Feel free to share your adventures and random experiences with me!

First front page byline
Met Clark freakin’ Gracie. And learned how to break people’s arms.

Random 2 a.m. adventure

I like to climb on things. And who puts a tractor in the middle of downtown?

Tried home made potato candies for the first time

Dyed someone's hair periwinkle. I have never dyed hair before.

Did a Reddit gift exchange for the first time. Can you tell how excited I was

I'm pretty sure this is the closest I have ever been to a helicopter

This year, I committed Monkicide.

More love please

This year, I climbed a Texas mountain

Deer, deer everywhere

Goofing off in a peacock cage

Les Givral's Kahve. Where they kitchen and bar are open until 3 a.m. and the bartender makes mini crème brûlée.

Panda cookie. Nuff said.

Starting off the new year in downtown Houston

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