What is the X Effect, anyway? No, it doesn’t have a connection with that former television program, or does it? Hmm, rekindling an old relationship? Deciding whether to stick with the more recent or newer one? Or returning to the “eX” could be a habit that needs an X Effect adjustment.
What can be said in the wacky, climb-to-the top in two seconds world of business that requires 24 hours of input and then some on a daily basis? It takes lots of discipline just to remain focused on everyday tasks, which can be difficult, but not impossible with an X Effect strategy to bolster willpower and inspire release from bad habits and set new ones in motion.
Obviously, with the drudgery of getting ahead and prioritizing in life, it’s a whole lot easier just to slip into pleasurable habits that take up time with limited input, rather than diverting energy to a realistic goal that takes time and energy. If getting rid of old habits and establishing new and productive ones is part of your plan, then the X Effect principle is a good place to start.
We’re all addicted to short term benefits, often overlooking more productive long-term ones, which are acquired through activities that call for actual effort. As the expression says, “old habits die hard,” and weaning yourself off anything that brings comfort, pleasure and instant gratification can be a tough go of it, but it can be done. Just takes willpower and a plan; the X Effect.
How Did theXeffect Start?
The X Effect all started a couple of years ago in answer to a Reddit “Get Disciplined” comment (link) posted by a disgruntled individual, “Ariodude,” in need of some fast and quick solutions to difficulties with discipline. In answer to “Ariodude,” “bombjoke,” posted a response, and hence the X Effect principle (and subreddit as well) was born. The response was one that laid out an entire progression of steps to put the X Effect principle to work.
How to Start Implementing The X Effect
In order to implement the X Effect, obviously a relevant (important) goal has to be set, such as eliminating a bad habit or initiating a new and productive one. The steps in the process involve:
– gathering the necessary materials
. a package of 4×6 index cards (or sheets of paper)
. a pencil
. magic marker (red or any other attention-getting color)
– using the pencil
. draw 6 vertical lines on an index card
. draw 6 horizontal that intersect with the vertical lines
. the resulting grid will show (7×7) or 49 squares, which represents 7 weeks.
[Alternatively, you can create your own chart on the 49 Days page.]
– focusing on a goal
. remain focused
. disallow yourself distractions (you know, the phone, social media, texting, etc.)
– choosing the habit you want to impress on yourself (give your goal a name on the top of the card
. getting rid of a bad habit (such as staying up too late)
or initiating a positive habit (getting 8 hours of sleep a night)
. setting your sights for going to bed earlier during the 49 day period
You are attempting to achieve a measurable rate or frequency of completion towards your goal. You either receive an x (for success) or a zero (non success) in your first square. Continue filling in the squares for the 49 day period completing each and every day after that successfully or unsuccessfully.
– Referring to the card (whenever you lose sight of the goal)
. turning over the card and write down why you want to break your bad habit or start a new and positive one. Don’t fool yourself. Be truthful and realize that this is serious business and is going to require commitment if you want to achieve your goal (going to bed earlier every night for the 49 day period). Re-read the note on the back of the card as often as necessary. This will help you psyche yourself up and continue on your quest.
– Using the Red Magic Marker
. use the marker to place your X in the square for completing your daily habit breaking score. Or put an O or other mark if the day was unproductive.
What if I Miss a Day?
If you miss a day, simply chalk it up to a mini relapse and shoot for completing the goal the following day. Don’t lose sight of the prize. Just continue to refer to the back of the card and your written commitment there and keep those red X’s coming. Fight back and get back on track.
“Fall down 7 times, get up 8.”
– Display your success
Let others know of your 49 day accomplishments and beyond with pictures or notifications of your completed, red-x’d cards. Let them know you have conquered your goal. Serve as an example to others.
Short Examples of X Cards
Examples of X Cards are usually simple and uncomplicated at first. But they can be built to include more involved habit breaking or establishment of new productive ones.
– breaking the X-pensive every day coffee latte habit
– backing off on fast food fixes or binge eating
– volunteering yourself in one way every day
– increasing vocabulary (new word every day)
– eliminating swear words in conversation
– learning a different language
– walking a certain distance every day (shoot for a mile)
– completing a home improvement task like painting a room, refinishing a furniture piece, etc.
A success story from one Reddit contributor included a Meditation topic worksheet in which the contributor’s goals were defined as improved willpower, more patience and a better understanding of his feelings. The person was able to complete the entire 49 day cycle through the use of an online meditation course. It allowed him/her to set up their own sessions for success.
Another success story involved a Reddit contributor who set his first goal at learning 15 minutes of JAVA programming language a day. He eventually succeeded and is moving on to other cards concerning meditation, reading and YouTube channel creation.
Whatever the goal, whatever the bad habit to break or new good one to initiate, the X Effect is a simple and concrete way to capture productive ideas and put them into action through a a simple index card or sheet of paper ready and willing to take your signature X’s of success.