Discipline Growth Habits Reflection Self awareness

Are your habits working for you?

You own your habits. They serve you. Not the other way around. Check your habits regularly.

Last year in December, my headspace meditation streak that lasted for over 250 days got interrupted because I did not meditate for a day.

I’ll admit that I had set a goal of reaching 365 days of uninterrupted meditation, so when I skipped a day and saw the counter going back to zero, I had a slight moment of sadness.

Then I started building the streak again, but the interruption came sooner this time — last Saturday.

Reflecting on and discussing this streak, I gained insights into habits and streaks.

Streaks are all around us.

“You logged in for 230 days in a row. Your VPN streak has reached thirty days. You recorded your calories for 450 days in a row. You missed a day of Facebook; what happened? You’re not opening our emails; what can we do better? You exercised for ten days in a row; congratulations. Don’t forget to log in to your …

We’re constantly being triggered to act daily and to motivate us; there’s a counter who reminds us of our streak.

It’s one of the side effects of the habits hype.

Daily solid habits help you be consistent, execute what needs to be completed and work towards your goal with determination and flow.

Adding streak makes it even a little addictive, if that’s the right word. Or perhaps compulsive is a better word.

I’m a big fan of solid habits.

But you’re still owning the habits and not the other way around.

Once you start doing things for habit or streak sake and lose track of the real reason why you began building those habits in the first place, they have lost their effectiveness.

Or so I think now.

I’ve been counting calories for a while. 

I started doing that long ago when I was too heavy and wanted to lose weight. I began running, moderated my food portions, and the weight fell.

I could have stopped once I had accomplished my goals of eating relatively healthy and exercising regularly.

I didn’t. The streaks became a little addictive.

I realize I don’t need them anymore, so I decided to experiment and give up on the calorie counting and the slightly compulsive exercise regime.

I’m giving it a month to see what happens.

My guess is not much will happen. I like exercise; I eat healthy, so I’m not expecting a big difference.

If successful, I will have freed up some time.

It’s not much because I had a pretty efficient routine, but it will still be about 90 minutes weekly. That’s still 78 hours every year.

I’m not sure yet what to do with those 78 hours, but I’m sure I’ll find a good purpose for them.

It’s good to put your habits in perspective every once in a while.

Are they still serving you well? Do you get the real benefits? Or are you just maintaining your streak going? Do you know when you log your accomplishments, or has it become a routine without thinking?

Your return: How effective are your daily habits?

Do more of what makes you happy!


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Erikjan Lantink
Business & Leadership Coach

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