Chapter 17Change 5 Percent of Your Habits

We all have bad habits. Some might bite their nails, some may eat late at night (two of mine), and others are habitually late for work. Changing your habits can be extremely challenging, especially if they are deep-rooted, long-standing habits. But start by making small changes.

Many behaviorists would violently disagree with me, especially when it comes to addiction. But there are many who would agree. Addiction is something that is different for everybody. But if you drank 5 Percent Less alcohol, smoked 5 Percent Less cigarettes, took 5 Percent Less pain medication, drank 5 Percent Less caffeine, and compounded this day after day, very soon your habits will have changed. Maybe it's not daily; maybe it's weekly.

I was like most people in this country, addicted to caffeine. I would have an iced coffee from Starbucks with a double shot of espresso to start my day. Then I would follow up in the afternoon with a 44-ounce Big Gulp of Diet Coke. As you can imagine, I had sleeping problems, to the point where it was affecting me mentally. Lack of sleep can truly be lethal. So I needed to make a change. I went from an iced coffee with a double shot to just an iced coffee, then a 12-ounce Diet Coke. Then I went to half-caffeinated iced coffee, then a water in the afternoon. Then I stayed there for a little while—about a week. Then, finally, I went to an iced decaffeinated coffee. Yeah, I had minor headaches and it didn't happen overnight. But ...

Get 5% More now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.