Getting back on the horse

I made it to 18 consecutive days of meditation before the streak finally ended on Sunday.

It’s ironic that I couldn’t find the time for it on such a leisurely day, picnicking at Lake Merritt.

I guess socializing demands just as much attention as a typical work day.

Memorial Day was my second consecutive day of not meditating, so I officially have a streak in a negative direction.

A negative streak, if you will.

How’s that for a pessimistic approach?

Still, I think it’s good to be as aware of our bad streaks as we are of our good streaks. This way, we have a growing count of the things we probably shouldn’t be doing.

From here, we can use these negative streaks as an incentive to “get back on the horse” and start a new streak in a positive direction.

For me, I have a two-day negative streak for both my writing and meditation habits. I also have about a 4-5 day negative streak for journaling before bed (last night’s excuse was not being able to find a pen, lame).

The good news is that it only takes one day of practice to start a streak back in the positive direction.

I’m a few hundred words away from getting my writing habit back on track, and by the end of the day I expect to start a new journaling and meditation streak.

It was definitely deflating ending an 18-day streak, but missing two consecutive days is far better than never meditating again.

A friend of mine told me that she had a 367-day meditation streak. However, since the streak ended, she hasn’t gotten back on the horse.

She says that there was something so psychologically deflating about it, that she feels she can’t get started again.

But I think starting over is the most important thing one can do.

Starting again is what really proves you’ve developed a habit. Otherwise, you’re only doing what you’re doing for the streak itself, right?

We should probably start measuring our progress more in terms of the percentage of days we’ve completed a task rather than the number of consecutive days.

Sure, 18 consecutive days of meditation sounds like a big accomplishment, but how good does it sound when you find out that it’s only 18 of the last 365 days?

So if you’re feeling bummed about a positive streak coming to an end, try:

  1. Counting your negative streaks
  2. Calculating your habit as a percentage (# of days completed/# of days not completed)

I’m going to keep these things in mind as I move forward this week.

Either way, I’m gonna keep getting back on that horse.


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