I broke the chain.
I spent some time debating whether I should write two articles today or an extra long one to make up for the one I missed yesterday. But I've decided that the best course of action is to just get back on that writing horse and write - instead of debating how much I should write.
I was inspired by Jerry Seinfeld's productivity advice and while I have used apps like Commit to track my daily habits, I had never used it with the intention of not breaking the so-called chain. I decided to try it and to use an app called Coach.me because, you know, community and all that.
In my excitement I entered a bunch of 'habits' I hoped to track and keep the chain going. Two habits that I already do daily are morning pages and meditation. There are days that I might skip this morning routine, but it's already so ingrained in my daily actions that I just continue doing it the following day. Same goes with making the bed everyday.
So anyway, I added a whole bunch of things I want to track. Things like:
- Walking X amounts of steps daily
- Eating one healthy meal a day
- Working out X amount of times a week
- Yoga X amount of time a week
- Fasting X days
- Vegetarian on certain days
- Blog daily
And on it went. I was so happy and 100% certain that these are things I will do because I am super human and this isn't this how these things work? Heh.
Same ol' story
I'm sure you know where I'm going. This isn't a new story. As I entered each habit into my app, I smiled inwardly knowing I'm setting myself up for failure. But whatevs. It felt good doing it. So I did.
From past experience, I know that focusing on building a bunch of habits at a time is just far too much effort. I built a daily meditation and journaling habit by doing it as 'one action' i.e. Wake, pee, journal + meditate one after another. I did this for months before it became a real habit. Not 21 days. Not 30 days. Months.
After that I added yoga. The goal was to just get on the yoga mat, even if all I did was sit there for 15 minutes. I followed a six day a week practice. I must say, the yoga habit is a much easier one to break because after I was convinced that this was now a habit I changed the 'get on mat even if it's just to sit there' to 'get on mat for the whole Primary 1 series'.
When I don't have an hour and a half to spend on doing yoga, it's much easier to break the chain.
Make the entry point simple
I realized that I had to make getting to the task as simple as possible. Even if I wanted to build towards the full primary series, the goal had to remain getting on to the mat. Because that way, on days I can't do the whole primary series, I will still make an effort to get on my mat so I keep the habit. This way, I know that on days I do miss the task, it's for a good reason, because the entry point was so easy.
That works for me anyway.
Which brings me to to breaking the chain yesterday. I am not knocking myself, but it's pretty 'painful' to see the chain broken because I want consistency in my Xs. I don't think I will be breaking this very often.