Starting a Streak

I’m trying to get a new streak going here.  I got derailed back in July, but now I’m trying to string some posts together and get my mojo back.

I’m also trying to get a streak going in my paper journal, which is a lot easier than this, because there I can be all sloppy but here I have to make sense, which is a big challenge for me, not to mention exhausting.

But it’s exciting to be contemplating  a new streak.   For me, here’s how streaks work.

When I say I want to start a new streak, what I’m really saying is that I want a core ritual in my life.  Back in the olden days I used to say I wanted to be “devoted” or “disciplined” about something,  but I’ve come to hate the word discipline.  It smacks of  rigidity and schoolmarmy-ness and there is usually a stick or a poker or chains or a straight jacket involved.  There is always discomfort, and frequently pain, and a good dose of suffering.

So to hell with discipline.

“Streaks” on the other hand are long strings of time when something magical is happening.  Like lucky streaks, or winning streaks.  Streaks remind me of shooting stars or fast runners.  Streaks are made of greased lightning.  They are a way of playing with time.

To start a streak, first you have to decide what you want.  The thing you want to make into a streak has to be something you add to your life, rather than subtract.

So for instance you can have a running streak or a yoga streak or a writing streak or a streak of taking a photo every day or performing an act of random kindness, or practicing the piano.  It can’t be something like quitting smoking, or drinking, or eating sugar, or any other kind of “going without.”  That’s a discipline.  It’s okay, and even good and healthy to do that, but don’t confuse that with a streak.

Once you decide what you want to “streak,” you have to decide the rules.  A streak doesn’t have to be an “every day” kind of thing, but it should be regular, and once you decide, you can’t change the rules.

So, for instance, I have an “every single day” rule for my paper journal streak, but for this blog, I have a “Monday through Friday” rule.  You want to make your streak rule realistic, but not too easy.  Streaks should test your commitment and be hard to sustain, but not impossible.

(To be continued.)

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