What to do when you break a habit chain.

#60M2IM Day 22/100

Shaunta Grimes
Apr 30, 2017 · 3 min read

I missed posting yesterday. Day 22.

Which is ironic, right? Because it’s supposed to take 21 days to make a habit.

Instead of writing that post I traveled all day, from Austin to Reno, and my little brother was here for a visit when I got home. Instead of writing, I stayed up late talking to him.

Instead of calling that an excuse, let’s flip the language a little. I made a choice. I could have told my brother that I needed to go write. I chose not to.

Still, I made a commitment to myself and I broke it. That sucks. It doesn’t feel good, even if I enjoyed what I did instead. Even if it was a choice I made that I’d make again.

When you break a chain, it’s a day not forever.

Here’s the danger, when you make a big, long goal for yourself (like writing everyday for 100 days. Or training for a long-distant Ironman when you can barely walk a mile.)

You do well for a while — then something happens. LIFE happens. Shit happens. You skip a day. And then your trickster brain is like: ah, well, that’s that. The super hard thing is OVER. Kaput. Finished. Let’s move on to something way more fun than this nonsense.

A broken chain is an invitation for the quits to sneak in.

Making a plan for the inevitable chain breaks in life can help keep your brain from derailing you forever.

I like to take the dosage approach.

If you skip a dose of antibiotic, you’re supposed to take it as soon as you remember — unless it’s close to the time when you were supposed to take the next dose. Then you just skip it and move on.

(That’s what my doctor says anyway. I’m not a doctor!)

Since you’re supposed to finish your prescription, the skipped dose gets added on to the end.

So — I skipped last night’s 60 Months to Ironman post. It’s 7:30 a.m., so I’m just writing it now instead. And I’ll write tonight, too.

If I couldn’t write it until 5:00 tonight, I’d just skip it and write tonight’s post. I’d add the skipped post onto the end, so I still wrote 100 times.

A broken chain isn’t the end of the world. It doesn’t mean failure. It doesn’t mean you have to give up whatever it is you’re working toward.

Day: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21.

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Shaunta Grimes

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Learn. Write. Repeat. Visit me at ninjawriters.org. Reach me at shauntagrimes@gmail.com. (My posts may contain affiliate links!)

60 Months to Ironman

Oh, shit. Making my biggest, most secret, most insane goal public. I used to weigh 368 pounds. I'm going to enter an Ironman race when I'm as old as my mother was when she died.

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