10 August 2023
Reading time: 3:39 minutes

How do you deal with problems ?

Have you ever seen someone recommend how to deal with a specific problem and decided to give it a try?

You committed to it daily or weekly and it worked. You changed your evening routine and your sleep improved. You went on a diet, your weight dropped and your waistline receded. You spent more hours studying, your marks improved and you passed the test. (You can add your specific example here.)

The new tool or strategy you used brought actual results. Problem solved.

As time passed, even when you skipped the new habit a few times, the results were still there. Eventually, you've reverted back to your old ways. Time passed and the problem returned.

We've all been there.

Most of us go through this cycle: we start something beneficial, see progress, and then gradually slide away from it. Why? There are two main reasons for this.

  • Disconnection between the timescale of the result and the method
  • Atrophy - everything is getting worse without conscious effort
We don't want the method. When we decide to try a new tool it is because we want the results, not that we want that method. Unless we genuinely become to love the process, as soon as we have the results, our mind is satisfied and the need for the tool is diminished.

Why do people go on a diet?

It's not because they want to feel hungry, eat only specific food or count calories. A lean body is what they want. As soon as their body gets into acceptable shape, they stop the diet. And because of the Law of Atrophy, the yo-yo effect ensues. What do they say afterwards? "That diet doesn't work."


The diet worked. While you were on it. Every diet works while you are on it. The problem is that having a lean body is a continuous goal, but you expected to use a diet once and get continuous results. Understanding the timescale of your goal is paramount.

For continuous results, you have to use tools continuously.

Take my sleep troubles for example. A few years ago, I banished all screen devices from my bedroom before bed; opting instead to journal, read books, and listen to audio content like music or podcasts (without screens).

However, over time I slipped away from this healthy routine until recently when I decided to restart it –with immediate effect on improving my sleep quality!

Why did I stop with the routine in the first place?

There were a few instances when I travelled and had my schedule disturbed. There was a time I was down (Hello bipolar, you're back for the next round? :-P) or lazy and wanted to watch something in bed. Gradually, I stopped my evening journaling and book-reading entirely. After a while, the sleep problems returned. And I was perplexed!

Why do I have problems sleeping? What happened?

Until it downed on me: "Helloooo! You're looking at screens past midnight and you wonder why you can't sleep?"

When I realised that I have the blue light on in the bedroom, I banished it once again. I even set the WiFi to switch off automatically at 9 pm. The results were instantaneous. From day one of restoring the habit!

I laid down, read and wrote for 30-40 minutes, and fell asleep within a few moments of putting down the pen or the book.*

So what is the tip today? Actually, there are two.

1. When you want to achieve something, always check the timescale of the goal.

Is the thing you want on a continuum? Whatever tools or methods you will use to get it, you have to use them continuously. You have to maintain the environment which creates the results.

Is the goal a one-off instance? You need a one-off tool.

Don't mix those two.

Sidenote: There is a possibility to use two different tools for some goals, one to get the result and another to keep/maintain the result. That usually occurs when you want drastic measures to bring the result fast and there is no need to use drastic measures to keep/maintain the result. But that is another subject.

2. If you have a problem with sleeping, avoid blue light 2 hours before bedtime

TV, mobile, laptop, etc.; all of them emit blue light which messes with our internal clock. The body has a problem getting to sleep because blue light triggers the "awake" mode.

Low-intensity yellow light triggers the "bedtime" mode in the body, especially if it is diffused and positioned below the eye line. That's why reading or writing with only a small lamp on helps us to get ready for sleep and we can fall asleep more easily.

Full disclosure: Blue light is not the only problem. There are other ways screen devices impact the ability to sleep, like dopamine surges etc. Banning screens two hours before bedtime deals with all of them at once, that's why it is so effective.

That's it for today.

I hope that the tips I bring are beneficial to you and I would love to hear from you what are your battles, what are your wins or losses? What would you like to get advice or help with? Let me know if you have any specific problems or decisions in your life you would like me to (anonymously, of course) address in one of my newsletters.
Till next week ​


*The results were instantaneous because I used this method before. It took some time to adjust when I first started with it a few years ago. When I restarted the habit, the body remembered what it is supposed to do and acted accordingly.

Habit is when your body knows better than your mind what to do next and does it automatically, without conscious thinking. Therefore, the process of creating the habit is to turn the unfamiliar into the familiar through conscious repetition. On the other hand, the process of breaking a habit is to turn the familiar into the unfamiliar by consciously stopping and avoiding its repetition.

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See you next time.


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