Being a completionist

Do you remember when, two years ago, I wrote about forming habits? Well, there is one habit I want to un-form this year: being a completionist. The term “completionist” generally describes someone who tries to fully complete a video game. I have positively spent too many hours trying to do just that – weirdly, as I don’t actually care about video game achievements. This, in combination with my being too lazy to pick up a controller most evenings, is why I managed to complete a mere three video games last year (one of them being Life is Strange with its beautifully confined world and playtime). But that’s not where being a completionist stops for me: I also tend to finish watching every movie I start, even if I find it dreadful. It’s even worse with books: Reading the first two pages of a book equals taking a blood oath to finish it, no matter how long it takes me. This is why I am so happy to have numerous books from my to-read list in my bookcase these days. Being a completionist is fantastic whenever I find a story that I love. But if I don’t, the fear of being haunted by all the stories I didn’t finish almost forces me to still search every corner of a virtual world. Or to spend hours (of unhappiness) finishing a book or movie I don’t enjoy. I wonder if you could call my habit of turning entertainment into a chore “FOMO for lazy people”: a fear of missing out on (more or less) fictional adventures rather than all the cool and active things your friends might be doing while you’re lazing around in your bedroom, arguing with your feathery friend about whose turn it is to get the next round of teahauntedbook
Tackling this unwanted habit will be another step toward perfect laziness. Because what fun is lazing around if you compulsively try to finish stories you’re not enjoying (anymore)? The duck must be extremely happy that I’m finally listening to all that whispered night-time advice.

Forming habits

The duck and I had to sleep a bit before we continued our thoughts from last week. But now that we’re somewhat awake (being fully awake is never a state the duck and I find ourselves in, no matter how long we sleep), it’s time to think about New Year’s resolutions some more. See, we actually do believe in the saying that 30 days of doing something forms a habit. That has proven true for us in a few instances. Nowhere do they tell you, though, that it takes just a few hours to break a new habit completely. I don’t even know how many times the duck and I have told ourselves that we should eat healthier (meaning: not snacking on pretzels and chocolate all the time) and exercise a bit more. We have gotten close to meeting this 30 day threshold quite a few times (well, we actually don’t believe that it takes 30 days per se. For us something along the lines of ‘a while’ works). But then a stressful moment came and we just had to buy this bag of pretzels and 15 chocolate bars to go with it. And, weirdly, whenever we get rather serious about exercise we get pretty sick (the last time the duck and I went to the gym on a regular basis for about two weeks I ended up having a 2 months-long cold). This is why our resolutions for this year are so *ahem* easy.

Duolingo Duck

However, there is one (rather useless) habit the duck and I have kept up for far more than 30 days: studying a language every day (we are rather proud of our 1338 day streak on Duolingo that we started on one of those days we were home sick after going to the gym). This is what brought you such gems as: My dog sells hats. I’ll include the video (again) at the end of this post, just because our dog’s story is so inspirational that it needs to be shared, especially in the beginning of the year: Continue reading