I started writing journal daily 380 days ago. By having this progress, I find it hard to skip a day. But this attitude can become enormously harmful.
Motivation accumulates over time and forces us to follow through.
Readwise has a leaderboard that lists the people with the most consecutive days of use.
There are some who have used the tool for over 1300 days in a row. My respect goes out to them. But now imagine, if the person on the top position misses one day, for whatever reason. Vacation in the mountains, no internet, a day in the hospital. The person would fall from first place to last place. From one day to the next. After over almost 4 years of work. Imagine that.
How likely is it that the next day that person would think to themself: oh never mind, move on, it’s only 4 years to get to where I’ve been.
The loss is not “one day in an otherwise great journey”. No. It is the fail of the century – with the force of 1300 lost days.
Motivation becomes pressure.
Always check if Streaks are just a support for you or if they become an end in themselves!
Let’s say you want to meditate every day. What if you force yourself to meditate every single day. You keep track of the number of days and are proud, but at some point it becomes stressful to always meet the streak when you’re not in condition.
Growing the streak became the habit itself.
And suddenly you realize that the thought of meditation does something completely different to you than relaxation.
Create a fundamental rule for yourself: “It’s okay to skip, but never skip twice!”
People really feel defeated when they miss a day. Here the skill is to ignore the pain this causes and carry on as if nothing had happened. How?
Don’t make the streak a success, but the overall number.
Now if I skipped a day of journaling after a whole year, this is how I would look at it: My progress would be 380 days (-1) and not 0. I am just not where I was a year ago. I am continuously growing in my progress – and that should motivate me!