december-31st

Today is the halfway point of my ten-week countdown to the end of the year. There are now only five weeks left till December 31. I’ve not missed on any of my chosen habits. I’m keeping the string unbroken, and I’m finding it satisfying to check off each habit in the Habit List app each day.

My ten-year-old committed herself to playing guitar every day with the goal of being able to play “Here Comes The Sun” by New Year’s Eve. She was eager to use the Habit List app on her device, and she has now got a 7-day string going. This is the most consistently she’s ever played the guitar since starting lessons more than a year ago. It seems more like a game to not break the string. Sticking with a habit just feels easier when it’s monitored this way, with the pressure to keep the streak alive.

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While consistency is key, those sessions still need to be high quality to bring about real improvement. They need to involve deep practice, the kind of effort that keeps bumping up against limits and stretching and refining skills. If I just do enough push-ups to check the box without actually feeling any pain, I won’t get stronger. The key is to go to failure and then try to go a bit further; that’s what leads to progress and makes the difference.

But first you’ve got to just show up, get the quantity in so you can eventually get to quality.

What habit can you lock in in the next five weeks to finish the year on a roll?