Monday, March 13, 2017

The Power of Streaking

This is not the kind of streaking I am talking about
I’m happy to report that I’ve been streaking for the last year, and I love it.

Before you get all in a tizzy, I am not speaking of running around in my birthday suit, in all of my considerable glory.

Rather, I’m talking about trying to get things done by using a method as old as time: building a streak.

That is to say, do a small thing every day, and continue doing that thing everyday, after a while you have a streak going, and you are psychologically motivated not to break the streak.

I first read about this as a productivity tool in Lifehacker many years ago. Jerry Seinfeld uses it as a way to write every day.

Read more here:
I’ve currently got two streaks going.
My Duolingo streak:  1 year and counting!
  1. Yesterday marked exactly a 365 day streak on DuoLingo of studying German!
  2. And as of today, (according to my Apple Watch),I have gone 66 consecutive days of meeting my Move Goal of burning 600 active calories each day.
A couple of notes: Duolingo has an interesting system, where, once you’ve earned some credits, you can buy a “streak extender” that will allow your streak to stay in place for one full day of inactivity. I have used that service a few times (mostly when I got super busy, and completely forgot to do German, and was glad I have it. I mostly don’t use it, and I would say that out of those 365 days, I probably used it 10 times (if that) But it came in handy, and I like the slack that it gives me.

With My Apple watch, it doesn’t give you that slack. I’ve had the watch for about 147 days (who’s counting?) and I’ve made my move goal for about 70% of the time. My latest streak is 66 days, and at this point, if I haven’t made it before I go to bed, I go downstairs and get on the treadmill until I do. I’d like it if it had the opportunity to buy a little slack.

I have an app (appropriately called STREAKS) but I prefer using the built in apps of the iPhone.

Here are some ideas I have to track my next streaks:
  • Record everything I eat
  • Stretch everyday
  • Do my exercises everyday
  • Write a blog post everyday
  • Make 5 phone calls a day to book shows
  • Use my water flosser everyday
  • Write a sonnet everyday
I don’t think I’ll be able to do all of these, because If I’m not careful, my life will be just a bunch of little streaks cobbled together!

Do you have any streaks going in your life? How do you manage them? Please post about them in the comments.


hchybinski said...

I use a Habit Tracker in my Bullet Journal - currently I am tracking my success with posting on my blog, meditating, walking 5000+ steps/day and taking my supplements. It's a simple pen and paper method that gives me a picture of my success. . .I can add or take away from it as necessary.


I enjoy Bullet Journaling as well, although I haven't been quite as diligent as I should. I still have a bunch of half-done lists.

Saving For Someday said...

And who said nothing good comes from streaking? It's daily habits that make for big changes. By doing a little every day, it's amazing the major things we can achieve. Thanks for sharing your success and slack, Adam. Keep up the good work.


Thanks Sara!