Recently, the weather has affected my life. This usually happens in the summer, when the heat takes a big toll on my well-being. This time, though, it's the winter weather, and more specifically, a crazy snowstorm that is covering everything in snow. (Looks like 3 feet at the moment, and counting.)
I had just got into the habit of driving (the car) to my favorite cafe where I could work instead of an office. It felt alright. And no more than slightly inconvenient, spending half an hour a day in traffic.
But in retrospect, it wasn't nearly as inconvenient as wading through a snowbank in a snowstorm for an hour a day to get to the nearest cafe without a car.
You might suggest I just work from home. It's a valid suggestion. I could see how that could work.
Except that I tried it and it backfired miserably.
I had spent all of December mostly home, not working. So naturally my brain had got used to it: home equals vacation; home equals movie marathons; home equals Christmas chocolates. (Mind you, I got bored of the whole taking-all-of-December-off thing two weeks into December, but one just doesn't go back to work right before Christmas. One just doesn't.)
So when the snowstorm started and I stayed home to work, I got almost no work done, I watched movies, and I ate crap. My physical and mental health took an immense hit. Like, the bomb in the culvert of Helm's Deep kind of immense hit.
Therefore, I decided that if I just got away from that place that triggers the connection in my brain, everything else would sort itself out. I would get work done, eat better, and have brilliant physical and mental health, if I just got out of the house every day and went somewhere else to work.
So here I am, at the nearest cafe - not my favorite one, but one does not walk that far in a snowstorm - and I'd say it's working. I've almost finished my first book of 2021. The cafe doesn't have wifi so I can't procrastinate on YouTube or watch movies. And I bet, once I get home, I'll be hungry for eggs and meat and scallops and other good stuff that's good for both my body and my mind. Maybe I'll feel so good after a day like this that I'll choose a book over a movie for evening entertainment.
It's a trigger: a gentle snap on the tiny good domino will cause a chain reaction for the bigger and bigger good dominoes. For Twyla Tharp, it's the taxi; for James Clear, it's putting on gym clothes; for me, it's getting out of the house with my laptop.
Figure out yours, make sure to do it every day, and enjoy the consequences.