The X effect, self discipline and habit control

Forming new, helpful habits seems really, really, really fucking hard. Ditching the old, pointless or destructive habits, while trying to form new ones, seems even more daunting.
All that sweet, sweet comfort is on the line and naturally, we want to protect it.

Most of our pointless and destructive habits grew out of a need or desire for comfort, for something to soothe us. Often these habits consist of addiction to pleasure, because pleasure is comforting, and what better way to attain said pleasure than instantly with minimal investments?

Reaching for the cookie jar, binge devouring sitcoms, laughing through substance abuse and getting high on masturbation; all minimal investments with potentially high pleasure outputs, and many more among them. Oh sweet, delicious, soothing comfort…
We’re all just addicted to short term benefits, often overlooking the bountiful long term benefits acquired through activities that require actual effort.

Not too long ago; while battling my rampant Dota 2 addiction, I stumbled on an interesting subreddit – The X Effect.

• What is The X Effect and how it works

The X Effect infographic

Over the course of 3 months preceding my encounter with The X Effect, I have uninstalled and reinstalled Dota about 20 times. The game consumed my thoughts for large chunks of my days. If I wasn’t playing I could easily get caught up in thinking about the various strategies or looking them up online. I needed to quit it once again, and for good, or I could forget all of my projects and plans coming to fruition.

I’ve been using The X Effect to quit Dota for 20 days now, and I no longer feel the pull at all. I also picked up kicking my coffee addiction, and daily exercise and meditation. Unlike Dota, my coffee addiction still has a moderately strong pull after 20 days and I have to will myself into not indulging when there’s a chance. But I’ve been nurturing my coffee habit for over 8 years, drinking 3 cups a day, so naturally it should take longer to rewire those neural pathways.
I can’t say I’m yet looking forward to the exercise, it’s still a chore and not fun; but meditation is steadily transforming into a natural part of my day.

If you’re curious about giving it a go yourself, I encourage to look through the subreddit. It’s a great tool not just for the information, but the people there can be your support group if you need one.

Hopefully you’ll conquer your goals and turn them into habits.