All the habits that I currently do every week, at the age of 35, are ones that I was already doing by the time I was 30. I’ve noticed that it has been exceedingly hard to tack on a new habit or routine to my existing lifestyle and workflow. It seems that my brain is becoming more resistant to doing anything new, and instead seeks out the comfort and familiarity in those habits that it has already been doing for a decade. This has large implications for men of all ages who want to change their lives for the better.
Here are the habits that were ingrained in me by the time I turned 30:
- Writing regularly
- Visiting a coffee shop once per day
- Approaching women day or night when the penis demands
- Lifting weights more than semi-regularly
- Reading regularly
- Cooking my daily meals
To do any of the above takes me very little willpower. Sure I have some days where I don’t want to write or lift, but my failure rate is small. Since turning 30, I’ve tried to change my routine in four different ways but have run into some resistance.
1. I wanted to learn Russian within a rapid period of time. The only way I could do that was to reduce my other habits. For seven months I was successful, but my old habits started to re-assert themselves at the same time I was finding Russian to be less useful. Fast forward to today and I don’t study at all.
2. I’ve trained in boxing for two short periods, but the workouts were exhausting. Like with Russian, my other habits were in revolt at how much energy it was requiring. I couldn’t stick to it. Then again, I also didn’t like getting black eyes.
3. I’ve met many players who are killing it on the internet, encouraging me to go on Badoo instead of day gaming. I’d try for a few days until I couldn’t bear to look through profiles. I haven’t been able to make internet game a habit because of my dislike for it, even though my notch results could be higher.
4. I took up the piano a couple years ago. For one year I stuck with it, practicing one hour a day, but I couldn’t find a way to make it mix with my other habits, and I got tired of traveling with a keyboard, so I stopped.
Of course there are many habits I tried before turning 30 that didn’t stick, but I attribute those mostly to experimenting. Now I’m finding it quite hard to incorporate anything new into my life that isn’t closely related to something I was already doing by the time I was 30, telling me that it is critically important for men to get started as early as possible on whatever habit they want to retain throughout life. Thankfully I started game when I was 22, but how about the guys who are starting late? Will they be forever alone?
If you’re older than 30 and you want to start something new, you have to make it intensive for at least a year. This is the only way to “re-wire” your brain, making the habit become a part of you. At the same time, you have to mold your lifestyle to where doing the new habit is natural and expected. If you’re working in a suburban office park all day, are shy, have low testosterone, and lack confidence due to being overweight, how can you begin to make game a lifelong habit? You’ll probably just dabble in it, do less than 30 approaches, then turn into a keyboard jockey who trolls online forums. You have to accommodate the habit into your life to make it more likely that you’ll stick with it.
That’s what I did with Russian—I went to Russia. I didn’t like Russia so I went to a Ukrainian city where I knew I would still speak Russian, but then I maintained a relationship with a girl who spoke English. As soon as my lifestyle changed to demote the habit into something less urgent, I could no longer pursue it. On the other hand, if Russia and Ukraine become the only two places in the world where women remain beautiful in the future, I would easily study it again.
My newest habit is making videos. While it’s too early to tell, I’m finding it pretty easy to incorporate video production into my existing life, since it’s related to blogging and utilizes my existing content-creating skills. It should be easier for me to stick with it compared to Russian, but we shall see.
By the time you’re 30, you are who you are, and it will be tough to change. At this age, your brain says to itself, “Well, we made it this far and survived, so why bother taking a new risk with no guarantee of success?” You’re much more likely to rationalize inaction or let fear keep you down. It will take quite a bit more to start new habits later in life, but it surely can be done if you focus on it intensively while simultaneously structuring your (new) life around it. Otherwise, you’ll quit much sooner than if your brain was more pliant like in your 20’s. If you’re young, start right now and get the benefits of burning habits into your brain. If you’re older, you’ll just have to work that much harder.