Another way of picking your “streak thing” is to think back to a time when you were doing something regularly and feeling great about it, and yourself. You were living in sync with yourself and your highest values, but for some reason you stopped doing it. You’re always saying that you need to start doing X again, but you just don’t. That would be a perfect thing to streak.
It takes a few days, 10 to be exact, to birth a full blown streak. The first 10 days of your streak are the most fragile. You are filled with doubts about whether or not you picked the right thing. Your already too-crammed life doesn’t want to accommodate the new thing and fights with it, and you’re probably going have to set some healthy boundaries with your family and friends to give the streak room to grow. They’re going to grumble, but you have to stay strong and defend it.
If you make it past this fragile 10 day period, you’re launched!
And this brings us to the question of who to tell about your streak, and if you’re going to tell anyone at all.
A big public announcement of your streak (once it’s born) on Facebook or Twitter will go a long way to keep you accountable, that’s for sure. But if you feel shy about your thing, you could keep it “in the family” as it were.
It’s important to tell someone, however. Telling someone will make it real. And just knowing that some other living being knows about it, and will be watching you (if only out of the corner of their eye) to see if you stay faithful, can keep you motivated.
How to Track Your Streak
I find it very helpful to have some visual representation of the days of my streak. I have used stickers on a calendar (the sillier the better!), and Jenga blocks which I have stacked into tall towers.
I’ve often thought that Pop Beads would make a cool tracking tool. I could make a necklace of them and wear them around my neck as I did my writing. This would only work if your “streak thing” was a sedentary pursuit, though.
At the very least you’ll need a calendar. You could use ICal, or Google calendar, or make something on Excel if you’re techy like that.
Once you get your streak underway, you need to tend it. Tending means “paying attention to” something. People tend to the sick, or to children, or they tend their gardens. What tending entails is watching, keeping an eye on, and protecting your streak from danger. Until your streak becomes something you do as second nature, you’re going to have to keep reminding yourself to do it. You’re going to have to keep an eye on it. There is nothing more sickening than to wake up one morning, 100 days into a streak, with the thought that, “Shit! I forgot to do X yesterday!”
Tomorrow I’ll talk about the Benefits of Streaking. In the meantime, think about what you could streak. You want to get something going? Align your actions with your core values? This could work…