Want to do something? The best time to start is right now. And if for SOME reason you can't start right now, start before the end of the day.
Today is the kick-off for the Memorial Day-to-Independence Day “streaker” challenge: a challenge to create a streak for yourself and over the next 38 days, do something you’ve always been wanting to do (Full disclosure: I first saw this idea in Runners World as a challenge to run one mile a day to combat the summer training lulls. I was sold. I'm in).
What sort of streak do you want to set yourself? Are you willing to see if you can start today and do something consecutively for the next 38 days? Here are some ideas:
- 10 pushups a day for the next 38 days.
- Write every day, a quote, a phrase, a journal, a sentence.
- Doodle every day.
- Run 1 mile every day.
- Touch your toes every day (or work towards it)
- Yoga every day.
- Handstands every day (You knew that was coming!)
These are just some ideas… what do you want to do? What are you waiting to do, and haven’t started yet?
Habits, Goals, and Reminders:
"Where your mind goes when it wanders ~ that’s where your heart is."
Make it small enough so that you actually do it.
If it’s too big to do, make it smaller. I get into this trap often—I feel an essay or project or run has to be some monumental achievement (2 pages, a complete post, a 5 mile run) and so I skip out on doing it because I don’t think I can do that much. MAKE IT SMALLER. Reward yourself for going on a 2 mile run.
Do it anyways, even if things don’t feel right, even if it gets rough, even if it seems weird.
Break through the invisible rules in your head. These invisible systems--rules and arbitrary barriers that we set up as reasons why we can or can't do things--aren't always true. Challenge these assumptions.
Ignore the voices and chatter in your head. Observe them, and then let them go.
If you miss a day, keep going anyways. Often in habit formation we miss a day--and then we beat ourselves up and quit altogether because we "failed." Shrug it off. Keep on keeping on. Despite our desire to be internally consistent, do it anyways and keep going. Check a box on the calendar for every day that you do.
See how many days you can do. The aim is 38 days, but if you do 30, that's still pretty darn good. Do what you can. Something is better than nothing.
Reward yourself and be pleased with the results. It's too easy to focus on the things you didn't do, the things you wish you had done, or the places where you could have been better. No matter what happens these next 38 days, if you do 20 days of goodness, that's 20 days of goodness. Be kind to your soul. It's a process.
If you’ve been meaning to do something, but haven’t, start now. Start small. Start so little it barely feels like you’re doing anything at all. Commit to running around the block each day. Or maybe walking. Eating a piece of lettuce every day. Something so small it feels like you're hardly doing anything--until it's become a part of what you do.
If you’re up for the challenge, join me: I’m going to do pushups, write, and play one guitar chord every day for the next 38. Tell me what you’re going to do—leave a note in the comments with your challenge!
Coming soon! The Writer's Workshop and Content Strategy for Thought Leaders, as digital self-guided courses. Available in the Fall. Early-bird registration will be shared first to my private email list.