Consistency is key when it comes to forming habits. But it is also important to keep going even when it is hard to do so. Life is unpredictable and things will happen – some of them unexpected.
No habit can be maintained without interruption. That’s why I believe streaks in habits can sometimes be self-defeating.
You build up a streak and feel proud. But eventually, it breaks, leaving you feeling terrible.
You may feel so discouraged that you give up. Recovering your streak would take too long.
Rather than counting the cumulative days without a break, it is better to set an overall goal as a percentage of days for a habit. For example, if you want to take up meditation, rather than committing to meditating 10 minutes every day, you could set a smaller goal to meditate 10 minutes a day at least 20 days a month.
You can miss a few days when things don’t go as planned. You can even take a couple of days off without feeling guilty and still hit your goals.
I believe this is a more sensible approach to tracking habits.
It is essential, as habits can be liberating if managed correctly. Conversely, they can become oppressive and make us feel awful. We must remember that we are in control of our habits and can use them to control our lives.