People are basically the sum total of their habits. Put simply, happy, successful, smart people have habits that cultivate happiness, success, and intelligence. When someone has a set of habits in place that encourage success, it isn’t just easier to become successful. It’s basically a foregone conclusion. Successful musicians, artists, writers, actors, professional athletes, accountants, and baristas all have a set of habits that make up a routine that keep them successful. When people can’t seem to keep it together, they’ve almost always gotten sucked under by their bad habits. This is obvious stuff, right? Swapping out habits–like exchanging using weed for other things–can be challenging.
Routines Can Optimize Potential
Think about what you’ll be doing when you stop (or cut down on) using weed. If you try new things, you’ll can start visualizing what you see yourself doing in lieu of getting baked all the time. You can start trying new things before you quit using because quitting might temporarily cause everything to seem draggy. Having a couple of go-to activities in place when this happens is kind of necessary to minimize the discomfort that comes along with changing lifestyles. Quitting weed will definitely create a change in your lifestyle.
In order to get the most out of their lives, people are constantly tweaking their routines. We can only have so many habits, though, so old ones get ditched when new ones are added. If, for example, someone starts going to yoga Saturday mornings, their usual Friday night partying is going to get kicked to the curb. If that person decides partying was better than the yoga, he or she’s going to nix yoga. Tweak your routine so it’ll support you in accomplishing your goals. If your goal is to quit weed, go for the habits and routine that’ll support that goal.
Variation Increases Happiness
The newest studies show that varying our routine contributes to our happiness. In the documentary Happy, Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., a Professor of Psychology at UC Riverside, explains the latest theory on happiness. There are, says Lyubomirsky, three factors most responsible for our happiness: a genetic set point, circumstances, and intentional activity. The largest factor is our set point. It’s a point that’s determined by our genes. We settle back to that point despite good or bad things happening to us. Our set point accounts for about 50% of our happiness. (Interestingly, this is the same percentage addiction research has attributed to the genetic tendencies toward addiction.) The second category is circumstances, and that includes things like income, social status, where you live, and age. It accounts for a meager 10% of our happiness. The rest, says Dr. Lyubomirsky, “is left for a kind of intentional behavior, things that we can do on a regular basis to become happier.” Intentional behavior is responsible for 40% of our happiness. That’s a large amount, and the good news is that we have control over it. Lyubomirsky emphasizes that their theory suggests that “there is a great deal you can do to become happier.” Says Lubomirsky:
“It’s very important, if a person wants to become happier, to try not to adapt to what they’re doing, so they would consciously vary what they do. It could be like when you do your daily run, that you take a different route. I mean that’s not really mind-boggling. For some people, it’s gonna be a lot of change. For some people, it’s going to be a little, but that change is important.”
Lubomirsky talking about intentional behavior and happiness
It’s time to figure out who you are without weed. Find out what activities are most enjoyable for you. Find out what activities are most meditative for you. Incorporate them into your daily routine, and then change them up when they get stale. Remember to vary your routines slightly–no need to be drastic about it–to keep things interesting.
New Experiences Increase Dopamine Levels
Remember our discussion a few articles back about dopamine and how it allows us to feel pleasure? Well, the science behind trying new things leads us once again back to dopamine. Variation actually helps maintain our dopamine levels. Check out the next article for the deets.