So what if we miss a day of our habit
Habit formation isn’t a linear journey. Like every other thing in life, it can be difficult sometimes. Some days will feel very natural and easy, and some… well not so much.
Habits are behaviors you repeat constantly. You create a plan, and stick to it. But, we’re all human. It’s okay to feel unmotivated or tired sometimes.
So what happens when we skip a day of a habit? Despite what you’ve been told, the world doesn’t end! Instead of dwelling on what happened in the past, acknowledge what happened without blaming or shaming yourself. It happened, and it’ll probably happen again.
What matters is how you get back up.
The majority of us go to extremes, either we’re totally in, or totally out. But that shouldn’t be the case when it comes to habits. Habit building requires consistency, but an off day doesn’t mean total failure. Motivation comes in waves and sometimes we’ll feel like we’re drowning, but most of the time we’ll swim smoothly.
Here are a few things to consider as you start your habit journey:
Quality over Quantity: It’s not really about the number of days you practice a habit, so much as it is about the level of effort you put into those days.
Let it Go: when an off day inevitably comes, don’t dwell on it, and don’t force yourself to do more than you normally would the next day to make up for it. Take that day off to recharge your batteries so that you can re-commit yourself to your habit.
Rest Days are Important: “If you don’t pick a day to rest your body will pick it for you”. It is easy to become overwhelmed when you start something new. Make sure to build in rest days, which are important for your mental health. When you keep pushing yourself past your breaking point, eventually you will burn out and quit for good.
Get Back Up: Get back on your feet. Don’t let that one day turn into two, then three. One skipped-habit-day is just enough for us to remember what we were fighting for all along. Sequence breaking will start to feel unnatural once we have performed a habit for a long enough time. We want to commit to habits that are life changing, and the only person stopping us is the one we see in the mirror every morning.
Remember, instead of focusing on the day you skipped your habit, focus on what you want your next day to look like. Behavior change is a mindset. Habit formation is a goal. All of that other noise is just a distraction that slows you down.
Look at the missed day of your habit from a positive perspective, and keep going, until your body and mind understand that it really doesn’t matter how many days you’ve missed overall, what matters is that you never gave up. That’s when you start making healthy long-term decisions and learn to ignore the small obstacles you had to face on your way towards success.