[This post is part of a series on “Mental models and beliefs: an exercise to identify yours.” If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]
Do you have trouble keeping a habit going?
Today’s model is my model for maintaining my daily habits.
A model for consistency: If you miss one day you can miss two. If you miss two it’s over.
My friend who set this blog up for me told me this belief when I asked him how often he posted — a few days a week, every weekday, or what. He said he posted every day and that if you miss one day, you can miss two. If you miss two, it’s all over. It might not end there, but the countdown to missing more and more until you’ve dropped the habit has begun.
Since then I haven’t missed a day writing here, doing my burpees, nor flossing.
I’m surprised at how much easier keeping up a habit is when you don’t introduce choice into it all the time. You just choose to do it regularly and then you’ve done the mental effort. From then on you just do it. The physical work may burn more calories but it takes less mental effort.
When I use this belief
I use this belief when I’m doing something I want to do but takes effort. You can also apply it to other types of consistency than daily habits, of course.
What this belief replaces
This belief replaces starting a habit and then absent-mindedly letting it go with keeping it up.
Where this belief leads
This belief leads to maintaining daily habits and living more consistently.
Read my weekly newsletter
On initiative, leadership, the environment, and burpees