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Streaks? No thank you, I am happy to suck!

Streaks are dangerous. The longer the streak, the deeper you fall when it finally breaks. To me streaks feel a lot like optimising the I in KPI – instead of the P.

One goal of doing things on a daily basis is to get them ingrained as habits. You want to build automated behaviour so you can reap its benefits without having to invest some of the precious cognitive capacity each time.

100% is "perfect". Who can be perfect all the time? And why would I want to be? Do you think your family will stand at your grave and think about how you had streaks on GitHub or Freeletics?

What they will hopefully remember is that you wrote great code and that you kept yourself fit.

My simple rules are:

  1. Doing it badly and inconsistently is better than not doing it at all.
  2. 80% is awesome!

You could adjust that percentage of 80% even lower. Ist it better to exercise two times a week than not at all? Well, that would only be ~30%.

Why would I degrade and frustrate myself by setting the bar of happiness at 100%?

Trying to do something every day without slack has in my experience...

  • put unhealthy stress on me from the first day...
  • ...which connects an originally positive goal with negative emotions.
  • The longer the streak was, the more frustrating it is when it breaks and the more difficult it becomes to re-build motivation.

I'm fine with doing things at all, sometimes, inconsistently and badly. I've given myself the Permission to Suck™.

If you reach 80% in regularity with something, you've not just beaten the inner Schweinehund — you've clubbed it to effing mush!

So be proud of yourself, relax and celebrate!