Developing great habits is one way to succeed at life. Whether it is being productive, healthy, or financially free, our habits drive our daily behavior towards the longer term goals that inspire us. However, there are many days, especially this year, where sticking to good habits is a struggle. Whether it is the temptation to watch TV instead of work, eat a big bowl of ice cream, or splurge on a fancy new toy, it is easy to slip out of our desired habits. When they happen should we feel guilty about these indulgences?
In a recent blog post, Darius Foroux argues that we should stop worrying about missed habits. Being too strict around them is actually counter productive. He writes:
We humans have this tendency to take everything to the extreme. And when it comes to habits, I found that majority of my friends, family, readers, and students have an all or nothing mentality.
You either work out every day or you do nothing. You either write every day or you do nothing. Why so serious? The reason for this is negative self-talk. We assume that we messed up if we miss our habits for a few days.
Foroux advises that we not worry about missing one day of a habit.
If you practice true mindfulness, there are no streaks. There’s only now. You shouldn’t care about what you did yesterday. Only care about what you’re doing today. And always try to make the best of it.
Every day is a new day that has nothing to do with yesterday.