One Day at a Time

Habit Science


So, you decided to start a new exercise habit. You’ve been waking up early every day and taking a quick walk around the neighborhood before work. Congrats!

Then, after a 10 day streak, something got in the way. You forgot to turn on your alarm. There was a torrential downpour. Your dog got sick and needed to go to the vet. Or, you just didn’t feel 100% and didn’t get out of bed. And breaking your streak hit you really hard.

These little failures can make you feel like you should give up, but don’t. In fact, a little failure makes you even more successful. Yes, you heard that right. To make a new habit or learn something new, you must sometimes fail.

You’ve probably had the experience wherein a task was so easy that it wasn’t challenging. It just wasn’t interesting enough to hold your attention. Failure adds the challenge that can make a new task hold your interest.

So, if you didn’t hit the gym today or splurged on ice cream, you can count that as an acceptable mistake. Tomorrow is a new day. You can get back to eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies and exercising 30 minutes a day. And then when you slip again, you’ll just get right back to your habit. No problem, right? Changing habits is hard. Taking them one day at a time makes them easier to tackle.

References

  • Clear, J. (2018). Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones. Penguin.