November 15, 2021

One Technique to Help You Stick To Your Habits (Even When You Don’t Feel Like It)

I used to label my days as either a “Go” or “No” Day.

Go Days mean being pumped and productive, sliding through my to-do lists, and ticking every box on them. On the other hand, No Days mean all-day Netflix and junk food galore. So I was either a hyper-productive might-burn-out-in-a-bit creative or a super disgusting sloth. No in-betweens, baby!

Well, until I noticed how No Days are holding me back.

You see, after a No Day, it’s hard to get back on track. I feel guilty, ashamed, and therefore more unmotivated to show up as my best self. And while Go Days are fantastic, when I get carried away biting away at my big tasks, I forget to do the little chores that keep my life in order (e.g. recording my receipts, doing the laundry, replying to emails).

The sweet spot, it turns out, is the delicate balance of the two. Introducing the Slow Days.

I realized that on days when I don’t feel like eating the frog, I can fry the small fish instead of sunbathing and doing absolutely nothing.

For example, suppose I don’t have the energy to write a blog post. Instead of throwing in the towel for the day and grabbing another Cheezy, I can look for studies and other resources to support my argument for my article.

I can replace the high-energy tasks on my list for the day with low-energy or admin tasks that still move the needle.

When it comes to habits, the secret to productive Slow and No Days is a solid game plan. I picked this trick up from Michelle Barnes (Muchelleb on YouTube). She recommends having a version of our habits for each level of energy.

For example, a 1-hour HIIT workout may be doable on a Go Day. 25 minutes of yoga may be all you need to get through a Slow Day. On the other hand, a10-minute walk with your dog may be the key to sticking to your habits, even on No Days when you don’t feel like it.

This is an #atomicessay originally published in July 2021 for #ship30for30. Have any thoughts on this atomic essay? Would love to hear your two cents in the comments :)

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