Broken Streaks

This year has been simultaneously the best and worst of my 37 years on earth so far. Through the ups and downs, tiny habits have continued to do their part to keep me on the rails.

Two habits in particular have stayed with me the longest: pushups, and a daily cold shower.

Today would have been day 2063 in a row of daily pushups.

I say “would have” because when I went to do my pushups today, I remembered that yesterday, I had skipped my typical routine and missed the pushups.

As an aside, while tiny habits are for everyone, my use of them is probably also connected to my recently discovered neurodivergence. 5 years in a row is a fairly long time for most people to keep something up.

Over the past year in particular, the fact that I had kept up my pushups and cold showers had proven a consistent comfort of sorts to me, particularly on days where I felt overwhelmed.

Now what?

As I’ve been pondering this over the past few hours I’ve settled on a few thoughts.

First, a broken streak doesn’t mean I suddenly lost the benefit. 5 years of pushups is 5 years of pushups. My original motivation was to treat pushup as a building block towards improving overall fitness. That’s worked out well over the years as I’ve layered additional activities on top of pushups.

Second, despite careful design (I chose pushups because I could do them almost anymore and anytime), life will throw curve balls and breaking the streak was inevitable.

Typically, the point of a streak is to form a habit and the push-ups habit has definitely been formed.

And last, it’s what I do next that matters most. We all have broken streaks eventually.

Now, the counter in my tracking app says 1. Tomorrow, it’ll say 2.