I just finished reading Atomic Habits by James Clear, and this line that he threw in right near the end really jumped out at me. He was explaining that while our goal is always to keep up with our habits (that’s why they’re called habits!), the reality is that life can sometimes get in the way. To mitigate for this reality, his personal rule is to never miss a habit twice.
I like the simplicity of this rule, but also the way it allows us to have more compassion for ourselves. Not every day allows for every habit. We can accept this as truth and let it be okay. It’s not make-or-break if we can’t get outside on a walk today, or if tomorrow we don’t eat enough green vegetables. It’s okay. It’s normal. It’s life.
Instead, we can commit to starting again tomorrow. We can use our skipped day not as a reason to beat ourselves up, but instead as a reason to show up anew.
I’m learning this new paradigm very slowly. Historically, I’ve been very all-or-nothing with my goals. If I let something go for a few days, all of a sudden I want to throw in the towel completely. But since I’ve started my Super Seven daily habits (now 8!) and tracking using a gentler habit tracker, I feel more relaxed on the days where I don’t get everything done. I try my best, and let that be enough. I try to do better tomorrow.
So as I write this to you on this very fine Saturday, I am fulfilling my daily habit and not missing twice. Yesterday I didn’t have time to write, but today I do, and today I did. See you again tomorrow.