Well, it happened. I forgot to draw today.
There have been times when my day had gone way past midnight and into the hours of the early morning. But I did some art before I slept. For me the day really ends when I go to sleep. So this morning I woke up at 4:00am and thought “OH SHIT”, I had forgotten to do some art.
Instantly I was wide awake. I started some coffee, setup my materials and started a drawing. I drew for an hour, I was calm and focused and the drawing turned out better than I thought it would.
Then I went back to bed.
I could have gotten really upset I guess, I could have even hidden the fact that I didn’t do any art before bed. I felt that would be cowardly, and getting upset wouldn’t have helped either. So, It happened, I lost my streak, but I made it up. I will still count my sessions of art and do them daily but now I have to say I missed a day.
fHow to avoid habit suicide by Brian Johnson (link)
Let’s say you’re building a new habit a la the Quick How to on Habits +1.
We talked about the importance of picking something that fires you up, going Keystone on it, making it Micro and doing it every day.
Let’s focus on the every day part in this +1.
For whatever reason, it’s a LOT easier to decide to meditate every day than it is to do it 3 times per week or every other day. It’s just how our brains work. The more consistent we are, the easier it is.
Now, let’s say you have a little streak going. 5 days. 10 days. 15 days. A W E S O M E.
Your little habit seed is taking shape.
Friendly Optimizer Travel Warning: WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T SKIP A DAY!!!
And, if you happen to miss a day (it happens!), then DEFINITELY (!!!) don’t miss two days.
In his great little book Superhuman by Habit, Tynan calls missing two days in a row “habit suicide.”
If you miss a day (again, it happens), make getting your habit back on track your #1 priority for the following day. Schedule it. Rock it.
Fact is, if you miss that second day in a row, you’re in trouble and if you miss three days in a row you run the very (!!!) strong risk of losing all the hard work you’ve done installing it and will basically need to re-start from Ground 0.
(Don’t believe me? How many times have you let a day slip “just because” and then another day and then another and then BAM! Habit begone?)
So, point of this Idea (beyond the above): When you’re tempted to skip a day, remember this wisdom: “It’s OK to suck. It’s not OK to skip.”
Even if you have a TERRIBLE meditation or workout or writing session or whatever, it’s WAY better to suck than to skip.
Seriously. Way better.
What habit can you put this tip into practice on?
Get on that!
(And, remember the Micro-Habit principle: Make it silly easy to do so you can easily keep the streak alive!!)