Streak your way to success

Streak your way to success

Maybe you’ve got a rockin’ body and doing a full nudie run through your office will get you that promo. But when I say “streak your way to success” that’s not the kind of streak I’m talking about. Although, hey, if it works for you, I ain’t gonna hold you back!

I’m talking about a streak of consecutive wins. A winning streak.

The small things we do every day can lead to bigger results than the big things we do once in a while. It’s all about training your brain to recognise what you’re doing as “normal”.

You clean your teeth everyday right? Things start to feel a little furry if you skip this task. Maybe you have days where you’re so tired you think about skipping it, but usually you’ll still do it anyway. Even if it’s a half-arsed effort. And even if you do skip it, I bet you’re unlikely to skip it twice in a row.

This is how it can be with any good habit you want to build. It can sometimes be easier to do something EVERY FREAKIN’ DAY than it is to do it three times a week or once a week. Because it becomes part of your daily routine, and because you quickly start to see a winning streak. And nobody likes to break a winning streak.

Tracking my winning streak was the most effective tool I used when I quit smoking. I literally gave myself a gold star on the calendar for every day that I didn’t smoke, and it started to look so pretty and sparkly… As much as I wanted to head-butt someone (thank you nicotine withdrawals), I was motivated by the streak of sparkles on my calendar. Plus it was on my wall for everyone else to see as well, so I didn’t want to have a gap in the stars.

Tracking your wins on a calendar provides visual motivation to continue your winning streak.
Photo by Adam Tinworth on Unsplash

Some suggested rules for streaking:

Keep your clothes on

(unless the habit you’re building involves sex or showering, then I guess you can ignore this rule).

Set yourself an achievable minimum accepted “win”.

For example, if your goal is to write everyday, set a minimum word count of 50 words. If the goal is to run everyday, make the minimum 1km or 10 minutes of running. This way, even on days when everything is against you, it’s still achievable to keep your streak going. You can also get the minimum over and done with first thing in the morning and then anything else you do that day is a bonus.

Set yourself a daily target.

Maybe the target is to write 500 words a day or to run 3km every day. If you get there, great. But if you don’t, that’s okay – as long as you’ve achieved the minimum it’s still a win. The daily target might even be something that you need to work up to over time.

Track your streak.

Having visual proof of your streak is motivating and a great daily reminder. As I mentioned before, I used gold stars on a calendar to track my progress when I quit smoking.

Never miss two in a row.

The goal here is to keep the streak going without a break. But of course there might be days when it just doesn’t happen. You’ve got the flu, or you’re on a 15 hour flight, or you just simply can’t be effed. The idea of streaking is that you make the minimum win achievable even in these sorts of circumstances, but I know sometimes it might just not happen. Don’t quit altogether just coz you missed a day. Get straight back into it the following day and keep going. Just don’t allow yourself to miss two days in a row because that’s when it gets really hard to get back into it.

Set an end date (optional).

Depending on the goal or the habit, you might want to set an end date or a target date. This way you can choose at that time to stop if you want. The end then isn’t determined by you ‘falling off the wagon’ so to speak. And it gives you the power to choose if you want to continue, change it up, or just stop altogether. It might also help you to not get too obsessive about the habit if you know it’s only going to be daily for a certain amount of time.

Get freakin’ streakin’!

What types of habits could you try streaking?

  • Writing
  • Running
  • Meditating
  • Drinking water
  • Spending time outdoors
  • Making your bed
  • Reaching out to potential new clients
  • Contacting a friend each day
  • Reading
  • Going to bed with a clean kitchen
  • Stretching

You could also try streaking for quitting a habit, of course!

Let me know what you’ve tried streaking for and if it worked for you.

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That jerk is just afraid: a tactic for dealing with difficult people

Difficult people have the power to ruin our day… but only if we let them. Now, I know that’s usually easier said than done. But I recently discovered a way to reclaim my power when dealing with a jerk.

The next time you’re dealing with a difficult person, I want you to think about what they’re afraid of.

The story…

This particular A-hole that I dealt with several months ago was so aggressive, abusive, and intimidating. I lost sleep because of this dude, and anyone who causes me to lose sleep and is NOT my toddler, becomes my number 1 enemy.

Anyway, fast-forward a few months and I have to deal with him again. I got the sweats, the racing heart, the shaky hands. I started trying to think of ways to get out of it. But then I stopped and thought about why he was such a jerk. What was driving his shitty behaviour?

The answer was FEAR. He was advocating for his son, and he was so terrified of what life has in store for his young guy. The fear of losing control of things as his son got older was just too much for him to bear.

Hey, I could relate to fear. I would also feel desperately afraid in his situation. And I’d also probably forget my manners if this fear was overwhelming me. I’ve got no doubt that can be aggressive and intimidating if I feel the need to protect someone I love.

So now I was on the same page as this man. It didn’t make his previous behaviour okay, but I guess it made it a bit more understandable. I could now work with him and try to keep the conversation reasonable, or at least end it with some respect and empathy. Which is what I did in the end.

The common factor

So then I started thinking about some other ‘difficult people’ I’ve come across. Fear was a common factor. There was always something I could identify that they were afraid of and that probably drove their behaviour.

In none of the circumstances did understanding their fear suddenly excuse their behaviour. But it gave me a different perspective, and a new way of approaching them… or walking away from them.

Give it a whirl

If you’re dealing with a difficult person, I’d really encourage you to take a step back and think about what it is they might be afraid of. You don’t have to call them out on it. Just keep that thought to yourself and see if you can approach them a different way. Or… walk away confidently knowing that they may be afraid of something, but they have no right to make you feel afraid of them.

Let me know if you try this exercise and if it helps you deal with a douchebag. If you need some targeted help with conflict management, feel free to get in touch.

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