The Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor

............................................ ............................................ A blog devoted to the ramblings of a small town, middle aged college professor as he experiences life and all its strange variances.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

SOPS V.2 - Incentivize

I have been thinking the last few days about my pipe smoking again.  Here is a brief summary of what has been going on in my mind:

1.  I have decided to become a Special Occasion Pipe Smoker (SOPS).  This means that on certain pre-approved occasions I can have a pipe, or two or three.  These would typically be at a visit with my elderly father-in-law (typically once a week or once every other week), or when attending a wedding reception or potentially a graduation party, etc.

2.  In SOPS V.1 (version 1), I found I was fairly successful in not smoking my pipes when I deemed it not appropriate.  In my calculation of that time, I was roughly 94% successful.

3.  When I was successful, I was feeling motivated to do SOPS.

4.  I have now gone back to smoking my pipe, albeit at roughly only 30% of my former rate.

5.  The difference is that I simply do not feel the same motivation to do SOPS.


I am not sure why, however, what I am sure of is that  I can tell you a variety of things about my experience going back to daily pipe smoking:

1.  I can notice I do not feel as good as when I was practicing SOPS.  Things  I feel that I dislike include a return of the phlegmy feeling in my chest,   my skin (especially my face and hands) feels exceptionally dry like it had before, I feel more tired, I feel more general aches and pains.

2.  When I was practicing SOPS at the 94% rate, I felt I slept better, my skin felt far less dry, I lost the phlegmy feeling in my chest, and I jogged far more easily. 

Now, it *may* be that *some* of the greater positives I felt during SOPS were due to the fact that they occurred between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Perhaps I was "giddy with holiday spirit".  It is possible, but in reality I do not think the holiday spirit contributed to my positive feelings.  I think they were REAL physical feelings that were positive.

So, why am I smoking my pipes (albeit at 30% of the former rate)?    It all boils down to motivation, I believe.  I somehow lost my motivation.  It started with Christmas Eve and Day, and from that point, my motivation was rocky, if not absent ever since. 

So, what to do? 

I think I need to adopt SOPS Version 2.  And, for V2 to work, I am going to try to (prepare for the horridly wretched, nearly pop cultural, almost Orwellian term) "incentivize" my efforts.  I apparently was able to "incentivize" myself with walking, because (I just counted) today is the 1,586th day in a row where I walked OUTSIDE, for roughly 5 miles, regardless of weather, holiday, health, or anything.  The walking effort has been so successful that I have expanded to jogging and regular weight training at the gym.

Why has walking been successful? 

It was not because I felt better (I felt better with SOPS V1), it was not that I lost weight (I have not gained or lost weight during SOPS V1).  I am firmly convinced that the reason why I have kept up with the walking for EVERY SINGLE DAMN DAY for 1,586 days is because of the NUMBER!  I was motivated to keep the number going higher (instead of back to zero) even when I was sick, even when I did not want to walk, even when I forgot sometimes until 10 o'clock at night.  The growing number MOTIVATED me.

So, today, I begin SOPS V2.  My goals are the same.... to only smoke 1, 2, or 3 bowls of pipe tobacco ONLY during a predesignated special occasion.  These would typically be at a visit with my elderly father-in-law (typically once a week or once every other week), or when attending a wedding reception or potentially a graduation party, etc.

I will keep a running tally of the number of days of my success in a row with SOPS V2 without screwing up.  I remember when I started walking, I did not feel much in the way of "number motivation" until I hit 30 days in a row without missing a day.  Then I started thinking that I just *MIGHT* be able to get to 50, then 100, etc until I am where I am now at 1586.

I am wondering if the number game would work for me in SOPS V2 as well?  I cannot really state why the increasing number motivates me, but it does.  So, I am going to give it a try.

I am starting today with SOPS V2.  I am thinking about whether or not I should count as a success day, the days when I smoke my pipe on an approved day?  At this time, I am thinking that I *should* count that day  because I still did what I said I would do.  But, on the other than, perhaps I should only count those days when I abstain, and give myself a pass on the days when I smoke my pipe ON AN APPROVED day?    The pass would allow me to keep my number rising as an indication of success.

I am not sure which numbering system I shall adopt.  But, I do know that today is day #1 of SOPS V.2.


Today's (Thursday's) Goal = 0 bowls
(the official start of SOPS V.2)

Wednesday's [1/23] Goal = 0 bowls
Actual consumption (Tuesday) = 5  bowls


Blogger BBC said...

What to do? Hell, keep working at it, and stay warm over there.

Thursday, 24 January, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus fucking christ, could you make it any more complicated?

I'm sure you could if you would just put your shoulder to the wheel.

Herr Professor, with all due respect, GROW A FUCKING PAIR !!

Thursday, 24 January, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so BORING!

Friday, 25 January, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"......This means that on certain pre-approved occasions I can have a pipe, or two or three......."

The problem, if you indeed perceive there is one, manifests itself in the manner in which you designate these so-called 'pre-approved occasions'.
The criterion/criteria you employ to quantify, that is; objectify what is in essence, a purely subjective endeavour are decidedly not empirical in nature.

Use an algorithm based on days transpired, not incongruent "Feast Day" calendrics.
Numerical surety is the ticket!

Friday, 25 January, 2013  

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