The Liability of Streaks

I’ve become a big believer in using streaks as a way to develop habits and skills.

But there’s a liability with resting your motivation on your streak. Every streak is temporary. Literally every streak.

If your motivation comes entirely from the streak, it’s easy to lose motivation, momentum, and all progress when you lose your streak.

But think: say you had built a 100-day streak of practice. Missing a day, in the grand scheme, is minor. But missing the subsequent week after that first day has two big consequences.

  1. It stops forward progress in its tracks.
  2. It actually goes back in time and erases some of the progress you made previously.

Keep track of the streak, yes. Be proud of the number you’ve reached, of course. But don’t quit when you make a tiny misstep. You owe it to the work you accomplished in your recently-ended streak to not let one missed day end your pursuit.

Start again. Begin building a new streak, mindful of both its value and its impermanence.