Day 15: The peril of missed days when building a new habit


When it comes to building new habits and establishing new patterns of behavior, one of the absolute worst things you can do is lose momentum. Speaking from experience here.

Not unlike some of my other efforts to establish habits, this 100 Days challenge has come with its own set of roadblocks.

This has been my longest stall to day—5 days—and I have no idea where the time went.

I logged in this morning thinking I’d missed 2 days and it would be easy to jump back in, but alas, that was not the case.

I read somewhere (can’t quite recall where right now) that when you’re working on building a habit you should allow yourself a maximum of 1 day to miss or slip. Anything more than a day quickly turns into a trend that leads to a very slippery slope.

According to James Clear, when you’re building a habit, each day you complete the desired habit is a score in the ‘yes’ column for the new person you want to become. It’s an affirmation of sorts, if you will.

Conversely, on the days you do not complete the habit, you deposit a score in the ‘no’column; which is to say you signal that you are not the person you desire to become. This inadvertently convinces your brain that you literally can’t do it. (In the absence of evidence to the contrary and momentum, resolve wanes.)

The more days you fail to complete the habit, the more you affirm that you can’t.

This is why it’s so important to never skip more than a day on your path to a new habit.

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