400 days of pushups

I’m excited! 400 days ago I decided that I would do at least 4 sets of pushups a day. And I’ve done it! I haven’t missed a single day since. 

I’ve also gone from being able to barely complete a total of 4 pushups per day (1 pushup for each “set”) to, starting last week, a minimum of 100 pushups per day. 

If that’s all that I’d done, I’d be happy.. but it turned out that pushups were just the beginning.

As I shared in my tiny habits story, pushups became a catalyst for a wide range of habit experiments that, today, culminate in more than 20 different habits I track. 

For example, today was day 324 of taking a cold shower. 

It’s also (work) day 54 of spending 5 minutes or more processing Slack.

That’s great. There’s more, though. I’ve experienced a benefit I didn’t expect. 

See, I had a difficult week last week. I had some strong “down” moments where I really didn’t feel like doing much of anything. There were good things happening, but it just wasn’t clicking for me.

I wanted to stay in bed, do nothing.

I felt overwhelmed on multiple fronts and I was feeling “all done”. 

So I turned to my habits.

See, they’re all tiny, ridiculously so.

On one particularly difficult day last week I decided to embrace how I was feeling. I made myself a deal. “Just finish off the habits left on your list and you can call it a day.”

Boom.

So I got to work, spending 5 minutes here, 2 minutes there, working through my list.

Two things happened:

  1. I got through the list and felt accomplished
  2. I spent more time on several of the items that I needed to, and didn’t mind. 

Whereas in the past I might have just called the day a loss or fumbled awkwardly (and unproductively) through it I was able to use tiny habits to propel me towards progress and maintain momentum, without relying on feeling motivated to do so.

And that’s all!

Oh, today is also day 33 of working on my Tiny Habits book! If you’d like to get a copy when it ships in December, pre-order today.

Jonathan Wold

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Jonathan lives and works in beautiful Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.