As I started to set my 2020 goals and new habits, one of mine was to take a cold shower 3x a week. I put it on the goals board at CFP and I actually have been doing it every day not just 3x a week (so I’m killing it!).
With that said, a lot of people have asked me “Mike, what’s up with the cold shower?”. My answer is always simple, I want to do something every day that is uncomfortable. The bigger reason, however, is that I want to make sure I can check something off every day and feel like I have accomplished something.
You see, when creating new habits you need consistent, intentional action in doing those things until they become a trait or something you normally do. Sometimes in this process, we fail to do those new things. That failure can lead to self-doubt and we may just give up. My idea was to do something that honestly kind of sucks but I know I am fully in control of it every day. I know that if I fail at everything else that day that I will have at least one win and I can check that box. This keeps me engaged, in a good mindset and allows me to continue to be successful.
As I thought about my cold shower, I started to read my daily email from Seth Godin which was a PERFECTLY timed email that aligns with what we have been discussing around building habits. The blog article is titled “Falling Behind vs. Streaks” and he talks about the concept that our culture punishes people for feeling like they are falling behind and that we are constantly comparing ourselves to the progress of others. The reality is that we need to focus on the progress we are making and to put all the other noise of what everyone else is doing to the side.
Seth describes that “real progress comes not from measuring ourselves against everyone else’s pace, but in building habits. And habits come from streaks. You’re almost certainly never going to win a 26-mile marathon, but if you train every day, you’ll finish one.”
My favorite line from the blog is below:
A culture of streaks can’t help but be mutually supportive. If there’s no behind, then there’s no ahead. But if we’re supporting each other in building new habits, we discover that opening the door for someone else also benefits us as well.
We talk a lot about this at Prototype that the hardest part is walking through the door. For you, in 2020 if one of your habits is to exercise more, your focus should be on just showing up. Don’t worry about the weight on the bar or how many rounds you get in your WOD. Just show up. Get that part down then we can focus on the next phase.
So what is that win you will have every day to keep you moving forward? Let me know
You can read the full article from Seth here.