Yesterday I spoke about the fact that it’s not just about showing up each, but also your attitude towards how you show up.
I shared a story about Jack Nicklaus who, like other great champions, believes there’s no point in focusing on our mistakes, but rather getting back as quickly as possible to focusing on what we do want.
But of course, mistakes are going to happen (and that’s okay).
The question then becomes: what happens when (not if) you do miss a day?
The answer is actually pretty simple:
You need to make sure that no matter what else happens the following day, you execute on that one thing.
For example, if I’m trying to write every day, and I miss one, my number 1 task the following day is to make sure that even if nothing else gets done, I write.
I know there are some people who like to make up for it by doubling up, but I don’t think that’s necessary.
For example, if they miss a workout, they’ll do an extra long workout the next day, or even do two workouts so as to inflict some kind of punishment on themselves.
To me, that’s not sustainable. And over the long term, it doesn’t make much difference.
What does make a difference is forgiving yourself and getting back on track as fast as possible.
I remember reading a story about a guy (I forget his name) who specializes in habits and performance. When asked what he does if he misses a day, he said: “I make sure that the very first thing I do the next day is that thing I missed.”
When asked what he does if he misses two days?
“I never miss two days.”
With that, we now have an awesome 1-2 combo for making tremendous progress in whatever domain we choose:
- Don’t miss a day.
- If you do, NEVER miss two days.
You do that by prioritizing your missed habit so that no matter what else happens that following day, it gets done.
Enter: this article 🙂
Had I missed another day today, it suddenly becomes too easy to fall down a slippery slope.
And, the more days (especially consecutive days) you miss, the harder it becomes to both forgive yourself and to get back on the horse.
Remember that the next time you find yourself feeling disappointed that you slipped up.
Yes, you missed a day. But you (and only you) have the ability to make sure that no matter what else happens, you don’t miss two days.
Then, have fun starting your new streak as you recommit to never missing a day.
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