#86: Struggling to Stay Consistent? Try This.

An alternative to making 1% progress each day

#86: Struggling to Stay Consistent? Try This.
"If you get one percent better each day for one year, you'll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you're done."

You must have heard that oft-quoted line from James Clear's book Atomic Habits before.

For some people, this works like magic—especially when it comes to building healthy habits.

But I find that when it comes to acquiring new skills or working on projects, striving to make 1% progress each day doesn't work for me. And I thought this means I'm doomed until I learn to be consistent with every single thing every single time.

Interestingly, that shouldn't be the case.

I found a couple of other options:

  • Going on Monk Mode. This means deciding on a timeframe where we can press pause on our regular programming, handpick which habits and activities we would prioritize for the time being, and working on a specific project intensely until it gets done within the specified period.
  • Succumbing to what feels natural to us even if that means falling behind, catching up, and getting ahead at something from time to time. This means injecting the element of passion when kickstarting projects. Unless we're bursting with enthusiasm and energy for a project, we're not going to dare touch it. Because by working on something we're excited about, it's going to be easier to generate the stamina and focus required to begin and finish a project.

I do want to note that for habit formation and other long-term endeavors, I still prefer the "1% better each day" approach as it is more sustainable. But for short-term projects and commitments, I'll be trying out the alternatives and see how it goes.

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