Exponential Habits

  1. Ignorance in kettlebell. I have no interest in swinging a kettlebell around. It sounds silly. The word sounds silly. It looks like something you’d seen on late night tv. No thanks.

  2. You’re interested in strength training. You’ve done a few classes at the gym. You felt great afterwards. But you’re not convert. You look at some weights on Facebook marketplace. They seem expensive, and where are you going to use these weights exactly? In your tiny apartment? Nope.

  3. After some nagging encouragement from a friend who tried it, and loved it, you buy the kettlebell. You get hyped up. Do a few swings. It’s really heavy. And that kitchen counter top actually needs a clean. Tomorrow! But it sits solemnly in a corner of your bedroom for a month.

  4. You push yourself to do a challenge. About a 100 swings a day. It’s hard. You can never seem to find the time to do it, although it only takes 10 minutes or so. It’s work. But you start to like it. You film yourself and you realize how bad your form is. You read some articles. You watch some YouTube clips at 0.25 speed. You start to swing a bit more efficiently.

  5. It’s now creeping into your identity. You make sure to always check it off your list. You feel bad if you miss it. I never read that Atomic Habits book but you’re pretty sure this habit has gone atomic. The kettlebell is your ally. Rather than lurking and rolling your eyes at online communities you want to chime in and contribute. My fellow kettlebellers.

I’ll stop here, because that’s roughly how I feel at the moment. And no, it’s not a metaphor, I really like swinging this cannonball around. But I’ve also gone through a similar cycle with many different hobbies and interests. And it’s usually here, at stage 5 where you start sewing the seeds of your own destruction. You start to bite off more than you can chew. You want more. Hey, I’ve already got a habit, let’s go bigger! So the challenge here is really to actually just ride it out. Stick with it and see where it goes. A habit doesn’t need to go exponential.

September 6, 2022