Daily Habits

I’ve picked up quite a few daily habits since the start of the year. To name a few: I’ve been doing daily sketches, I’ve been going on a daily walking routine, learning Spanish on Duolingo, I have a quick stretching/exercise routine I do in the mornings, etc. (I’m also supposed to be writing daily, but this has proven more difficult to keep doing consistently…)

I like those daily habits that can be easily tracked with technology. Duolingo tracks my Spanish learning streak (currently on a 147-day streak). r/sketchdaily tracks my drawing streaks. I have an app on my phone that tracks how often I meet my daily walking target (usually the only problem is if it rains)

There’s a productivity tip supposedly advocated by Jerry Seinfeld called “Don’t Break the Chain”. It recognizes the power of tracking your streaks. The longer your streak gets, the more it motivates (or pressures?) you to maintain the streak and keep it going. It also helps you realize that doing things repeatedly on a daily basis leads to small, incremental improvements that can quickly compound into big improvements

Daily habits can be difficult sometimes unless you live a totally boring life. Most people will have differing circumstances from day-to-day that may cause you to miss your daily habits every so often. Maybe you have an out-of-town trip that makes your daily gym habit impossible, or maybe you needed to go overtime all week so you needed to skip your extra learnings, and so on. That’s kind of fine – as long as you understand the tradeoffs you’re making (it is your life to live and prioritize after all)

But even when you’re short on time, you can still look for ways to keep your streak going. With Duolingo, I usually do it in the mornings on my desktop pc, but if I’m busy all day I can do a quick Duolingo session on my mobile. For sketches, if I don’t have much time I can pick up a small post-it and do a quick and small doodle. If it’s raining too hard for me to go out and take my walk, I can go to the nearest mall and just do a walkabout there, maybe even running some errands at the same time. I’m also supposed to be reading books daily – one of the daily habits I’m not consistent at – but if I don’t have time, maybe I can just read a few paragraphs or pages right before I sleep

Depending on your personality, trying to maintain a streak can seem to be a burden sometimes. You feel like you’re becoming a slave to the habit. But as the book “The Greatest Salesman in the World” implies, humans by nature are slaves to habit, and if we must be slaves to habit we might as well be slaves to good habits of our own choosing

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *