The subtle value of sidchas

June 5, 2016 by Joshua
in Exercises, Fitness, Freedom, Habits, SIDCHAs

I write about self-imposed daily challenging healthy activities (sidchas) a lot. Why is the sidcha different from the countless recommendations to do other things daily? The difference is subtle but important. It will give you more time, structure, and discipline. Some examples:

  • People who meditate regularly tell me that I should meditate daily for the full benefit.
  • Yoga people say the same thing about yoga, at least that I should do it regularly.
  • A video of a girl who practiced dancing daily for a year, became amazing at it, and got onto TV for it inspired me to want to practice dancing daily.
  • Marshall Goldsmith tells me I should answer six questions daily.
  • Writers tell me I should write daily.
  • Fitness people tell me to exercise daily.
  • Artists tell me to practice art daily.
  • Everyone tells me to do their thing daily.

I don’t have time for all those things.

The problem with all those suggestions isn’t that they don’t work. Most do. The problem is they do work but you don’t have time for them all.

Sidchas give you the value of those things without taking too much time.

The value of the sidcha concept

Sidcha is a category, not a specific practice. When I recommend doing a sidcha, anything self-imposed, daily, challenging, and active will do.

The subtle but important value of knowing the sidcha concept is that as long as you do one, you can say no to the rest and not feel like you’re missing out. People who don’t know the concept do things like this

  1. They hear how important some daily practice is so they start doing it daily.
  2. Then they hear how important some other daily practice is so they start doing it daily too.
  3. Then they hear how important some third daily practice is so they start doing it daily too.
  4. And so on, adding practices.
  5. At some point they miss a day or two of one of them.
  6. At another point they miss a day or two of another.
  7. Eventually they miss days of all of them.
  8. They see daily practices as a chore that don’t do much.
  9. They end up with no consistent daily practices, losing discipline from activities they wanted to create it.

When you know the sidcha concept, when people suggest their awesome regular activity, you can confidently tell them without risk of regret,

Thanks, your activity sounds great, but I already have a sidcha.

If you hear about a new sidcha you think you’d prefer to an old one, you can start the new one and drop the old one with confidence and without risk of regret.

I have three sidchas—my burpee/abs/stretching/pull-up routine, posting here, and cold showers—which works out for me. You can decide how many works for you, but I recommend having at least one.

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2 responses on “The subtle value of sidchas

  1. Pingback: Your choice of sidcha isn’t that important. Just do one. » Joshua Spodek

  2. Pingback: Sidchas — the series » Joshua Spodek

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