Two steps forward, one step back

I’ve now been using Habit routines for about a month. Although I’ve mostly been following my routines, I’ve been a bit lax in updating my paper Habit routines tracker. That is, not unsurprisingly, a bad idea – just going through the routines is of course what’s most important, but updating your tracker helps reinforce the habit even further. So I’ve decided that from now on, I’ll put down the X’s every day, as soon as I’ve run through the routines.

So, has my routines been working?

When it comes to my morning routine, I’ve been very successful – I’ve gotten up on time every day. And since that means I’ve now successfully completed that routine every day for 20+ days, I’ve earned the right to add another habit to my mornings. I have a flash card app called Anki on my phone that I use for studying every day, so I decided to use that as an addition to my morning routine right after I wake up. I didn’t always remember this the first few days after I added it, so those days I put down as zeroes in my tracker, but the last few days I’ve been doing better.

My evening routine, however, hasn’t fared quite as well. After going to bed on time for 12 consecutive days, I broke my streak simply because I got lost in my phone one night and lost track of time. Initially, this felt as a disappointment, but then I realized that it wasn’t – it was the concept of Habit routines working. My evening routine isn’t well-established yet for me to add another habit to it, and me forgetting to go to bed on time was the proof of that. After all, the idea behind not adding more habits to a routine until you’ve completed it as-is successfully for 20 days straight is to make sure that you don’t ramp up with too many habits too quickly and end up feeling overwhelmed and giving up on the project all together. So, I’ll note this as a failure for me, but a success for the method.

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