What happens if you don’t stick to your habits? It doesn’t have to be a mistake – but you have to be careful
I didn’t send my newsletter last Sunday (sorry).
That means I’ve missed my weekly posting schedule for the first time since I started writing about two years ago, in December 2019.
I didn’t plan to miss it – I just couldn’t make it work, as we were traveling in Slovenia and Croatia with our VW Van. I had prepared something and thought “I’m sure there’s going to be wifi somewhere so I can finish writing it”- well, I was wrong, there was no wifi, and also I forgot my notebook’s power adapter.
I’m a bit mad at myself that I broke my habit streak, because I’ve so successfully stuck to finishing a blog post every Sunday and had gotten somewhat OCD about never missing it. If you don’t feel uncomfortable breaking a habit, you’re probably not going to stick to it.
To be honest, I didn’t expect that I’d stick to writing every Sunday, knowing my track record of starting stuff and making plans of “I’ll do this every week!” countless times, but then forgetting about it.
But I’ve stuck to this habit, so far. I’m not exactly sure why, but defining a set day did help, and having an audience that expects to receive something (even if only a handful of people will realize I didn’t send anything, I do care about you guys, very much).
Breaking my habit made me think of a post I’ve read recently on Tynan’s blog. He also blogged weekly and said something interesting: At this point I realize that I’m posting weekly only because I said I was going to, and not because I actually want to. So from now on I’m going to just post whenever I want to.
And: When the benefit of doing something is only that it keeps a streak alive, it’s a good time to reevaluate.
It’s a good idea to reevaluate your habits regularly. I try to do that on New Years.
But it’s equally important to be stubborn once you’ve started a habit, because you won’t be able to trust yourself anymore if you cheat too much (so it’s kind of like a romantic relationship). And if you keep missing your habits, you’ll end up fortifying just one toxic habit: the habit to break habits, to cheat yourself, to be a slob, and you’ll eventually rob yourself of the chance to achieve anything of significance.
In my case, I know I still want to write. That’s why I want to stick to my writing schedule.
I enjoy structuring my thoughts and sharing ideas.
So I’m going to keep on writing every week (that’s my resolution, I hope you keep me accountable), until I no longer enjoy writing.
I like limiting my freedom on my own volition. And I have to do it this way, I’m afraid.
Just today, having already missed one post, I definitely felt the temptation to skip another blogpost and blame it on the vacation. But that would’ve been dishonest to you, and to myself, and I feel that this would’ve gotten the ball rolling in the wrong direction, and I would’ve stopped writing before too long.