How do you Avoid the What the Hell Effect?

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NoelFigart
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How do you Avoid the What the Hell Effect?

Post by NoelFigart » Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:02 pm

I just had to mark today a red for swimming. Snow and shoveling meant no swimming.

Now, I'm not excessively worried about it. It's one day, more or less. If it's just today and I'm green for the rest of the week, my habit is solid. But if I let it make it easier for me to talk myself into blowing off another workout, then it is a problem. Because the chain is broken and I don't have that string of green to motivate me any more.

But it does get me to thinking about how we do use the What the Hell? Effect and our outraged sense of perfection to screw ourselves over. It really is about overall behavior and long-term habit, yet how many of us flip out over a failure and let it derail us?

What do you do to avoid the What the Hell? Effect?
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My blog http://noelfigart.com/blog/ I talk about being a freelance writer, working out and cooking mostly. The language is not always drawing room fashion. Just sayin'.

Queenie
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Post by Queenie » Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:52 pm

Hi Noel,

I've hesitated to answer since I'm both new to No-S, and I'm not doing an exercise element yet.

But the way I avoid the WTH effect is by doing a "bad" version of whatever I'm committed to.

I get it that this doesn't work with swimming when you can't get to the gym. But I would call that a snow day and be done with it. Not a Fail day.

I do give myself days off for certain commitments, most particularly my writing. I write an article every day unless I've planned a day off in advance.

It doesn't have to be a good article. I can write a "bad" article. For the past two years I've written it every weekday, no matter how sick I am. I've written it with a bucket on the floor next to my desk, because I was that sick.

However, if I were hospitalized sick or unconscious, then I would allow it as a sick day and be done with it. Not a fail.

So I guess I don't understand why you'd mark a snow day red.


Another way I use the "do it badly" concept: A few years ago I began making my bed every day. Except I didn't do it every day. And when I'd miss, all of a sudden I'd have an unmade bed for weeks. (The "what the hell" effect.)

Then, a little over a year ago, when I realized I could apply my "bad" rule to it.

So then I began making my bed every day, no excuses -- except I didn't have to do a good job of it. So there were days when the duvet was sloppily pulled across the bed and the pillows were tossed to the head. But I called that bed "made" and it counted.

Since then I have had no more bed-making fails. Ever. It's gotten to the point where, even if I take a nap in the afternoon and tell myself that there's no need to make the bed again -- when I go to sleep that evening I find that the bed is made. The habit is now so ingrained that I can't "not" make the bed.


Anyway, I am also writing a novel. I have a 50-word daily minimum. In reality, I almost always write 300-500 words a day. But on Thursday night last week when I felt lousy, I wrote 70 words on the novel. And I wrote a "bad" article on Thursday as well.


Giving myself permission to do something "badly" is how I got over the "what the hell" aspect. I never miss unless I've planned on it in advance. If taking the day off hasn't been planned, I just do a bad job of whatever I'm doing, but I get it done.

And for "making the bed" -- there are no days off, ever, unless I'm literally sick IN bed all day. But if I get up, I make the bed.

Obviously that only works with something we ARE doing. [I can't do a bad job of "no sweets" because that's something I'm NOT doing.]

Queenie
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Post by Queenie » Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:59 pm

As for what I'm "not" doing -- I count each aspect of No-S separately. So I use three Xs on my chart.

That's because I was fortunate, in Week 2, to have an occasion where I wanted to have dessert on an N-day -- and I didn't want to feel like "What the hell" about the rest of my day.

So I decided I'd give myself credit for each S separately. Blowing it with one S didn't mean I had blown it with my whole day.

I don't think this fits with Habitcal. But it does fit with what I know works for me personally to build a habit.

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Merry
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Post by Merry » Wed Jan 20, 2016 5:28 am

I would have done "yellow" for the snow day.

I might have even done green, depending on your goal. In my mind, if you exercised by shoveling for about as long as you usually swim, or for at least 14 minutes, I'd mark it green, not a fail.

Marking it red highly offends my sense of justice! The snow is not your fault, and you DID exercise.

Other than that, I'm not tracking exercise yet personally, which isn't leading to a lot of success in that area for me either...so I have no words of wisdom! BUT, if I do start tracking, I plan to count walks whether they are short or long. I don't want the "need" to be perfect and do a certain length to keep me from getting out at all, kwim?
Homeschool Mom and No S returnee as of 11-30-15.
2 years and counting on No-S.
29 lbs. down, 34 to go. Slow and steady wins the race.
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NoelFigart
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Post by NoelFigart » Wed Jan 20, 2016 12:54 pm

Well in terms of my goals, my GOAL isn't movement. It's swim training because I'm going to be doing some events next summer that require that I am consistent in my swim training so that I don't get my fool self killed. (Swimming 6 miles in a New England lake at the beginning of the summer and then swimming a mile and a half in SF Bay from Alcatraz to shore)

Like I said, I'm not excessively worried about it. I was in the water yesterday and this morning, doing my training as usual. But I did wonder what other people like to do to avoid that "What the Hell?" effect.
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My blog http://noelfigart.com/blog/ I talk about being a freelance writer, working out and cooking mostly. The language is not always drawing room fashion. Just sayin'.

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Merry
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Post by Merry » Sat Jan 23, 2016 8:22 am

NoelFigart wrote:Well in terms of my goals, my GOAL isn't movement. It's swim training because I'm going to be doing some events next summer that require that I am consistent in my swim training so that I don't get my fool self killed. (Swimming 6 miles in a New England lake at the beginning of the summer and then swimming a mile and a half in SF Bay from Alcatraz to shore)
That's awesome! What a great goal!
Homeschool Mom and No S returnee as of 11-30-15.
2 years and counting on No-S.
29 lbs. down, 34 to go. Slow and steady wins the race.
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Sarah-lara
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Post by Sarah-lara » Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:28 pm

If I could just get over the WTH Effect, I think my whole life would be better!
I tend to round up in favor of WTH, so a Thursday morning will be close enough to the weekend to WTH through to Monday and early November is close enough to WTH all the way up to new year's resolutions. It's like that old skit of Paula Poundstone justifying why you always have to eat the entire box of Pop Tarts in one sitting.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLLP1Wtrg0U

I do have a friend who managed to quit smoking despite succumbing to WTH for years. She told herself that she wouldn't even try to quit ever again if she gave in even once. It's a big, risky ultimatum to give yourself, but it did work in her situation.

gingerpie
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Post by gingerpie » Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:11 pm

I do have a friend who managed to quit smoking despite succumbing to WTH for years. She told herself that she wouldn't even try to quit ever again if she gave in even once. It's a big, risky ultimatum to give yourself, but it did work in her situation.
I supose it's a way to determine if you really want to chang or you're just saying you want to change. But yes, a risky test indeed.

Sarah-lara
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Post by Sarah-lara » Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:52 pm

NoelFigart, have you tried something like putting some money on the line, either with a friend or with Stickk.com?

I tried it once, with the money set up to go to what is, to me, a particularly objectionable lobby group. Unfortunately when I started to fail at the goal, I justified lying to the website as far more moral and decent that giving that money out. I guess I could try stickk again and put the money on a group I do like and see how that goes. I have a few non-diet goals I could try it with.

Bullisaba
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Post by Bullisaba » Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:36 am

I have a rest day every week (only work out 6 days a week) so I can move that rest day if I need to. I also have small goals (fitness tests or increased reps) as well as big goals to help keep me on track when my big goals are a way off.

I also remind myself that fitness is fluid. If you give up now, the work you have done thus far will be lost.

Lyra
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Post by Lyra » Sun Feb 07, 2016 3:30 pm

I am a returning No-Ser after a break of, um, years :oops:

I am exactly the same with the what the hell's leading to, um, years off habit. But when I was doing No-S successfully, I had a separate color on my personal habitcal for "no binge failures". So, if I just broke down and had that S, if I could stay on track for the rest of the day I would reward myself for persevering. In the end, those were the hardest and therefore some of the most successful days.

So why not give yourself a "green" if you DO keep swimming, stay on habit all week, keep your good habits rolling?

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