Once a week to create a long-lasting habit
Today I’d like to remind myself and you that to start a good habit of doing something consistently you should commit to doing it just once a week. And for best results, same day every week. This helped me start running and eventually doing triathlons. This will hopefully help me blog more regularly and reply to emails. From now on I’m committed to writing a new blog post every week on a Thursday and reviewing all my email backlog every week on a Friday. Details below.
Don’t be too ambitious!
We are too ambitious. We want to start something new and to make sure we do it consistently we put impossible goals for ourselves. Like doing something daily. This seems do-able at first but it’s hard. Life happens, one day you don’t do it and you feel like a failure and you give up. The streak is lost. The magic is gone.
How I started running with my buddy
It started after the summer of 2012 when a friend of mine asked to run together every week. Every Tuesday at 9:15am to be precise.
There was no negotiation. No asking a day before if we run the next day. Nothing like that. I had to show up on Tuesday morning or I’d fail my friend.
This changed everything for me. Even if I had a crazy week at work I’d know I’d get to do sports at least once a week.
And if I’d go for a run on a Thursday or Friday, it was like a nice bonus. Something unexpected. An achievement.
Same goes to blogging. I have things to say but sometimes I’m just busy…
I’ve just launched this new blog to be able to blog more. This blog brings me joy. I love writing here, I love controlling this environment, and I’d love to re-import all my blog posts from Sliwinski.com and also the posts that I saved on my iPad but never posted.
But life happens. I’m busy. Now I’ll be writing the #NoOffice book for the entire month of August. Just wrote the chapter 6 on banning email today.
I’d love to blog daily like Seth Godin does, but I’ve tried in the past and it never worked. I’d work for a few days and then I’d fail.
That’s why I’m committed to blogging once a week, every Thursday. At least that. If I blog more, it’s going to be a welcome bonus.
Today is Thursday, July 30 and it’s the beginning of my weekly blog. Let’s do this.
And if you just look at my past week, you’ll see that after the initial blog launch, I managed to update my “now” page, post about my learnings of CSS and our Nozbe Teams launch on Product Hunt. Not a bad steak, but I just know not every week will be like that, so I’m preparing for slower weeks and want to make sure that I can reach you all at least once a week on a Thursday.
Same for email… even Hey didn’t help
I’m bad at answering personal email. I explain more in the “No Office” book chapter 6 which I just wrote today. I just launched the “hey app” and I’ve got 20+ emails in my “Imbox” and “355 emails in the Screener”. I need to get this sorted and I need to be able to do it at least once a week. I’m going to do it tomorrow on a Friday.
It doesn’t mean that if you write to me I’ll reply to you within a week. Maybe yes, maybe earlier (again, bonus), but you should expect me to deal with your email on the next Friday at the latest. That’s my commitment and that’s a reasonable habit I can build.
Again, it’s not about the Hey app itself, it’s about me not being great at emailing people who are not my team.
Why do I have so many problems with answering personal email? Well, it’s simple, because my Nozbe team is more important to me and I’m answering their stuff and giving them feedback and leading them using Nozbe Teams and not email.
Again, re-read chapter 6 of “No Office” book.
And yes, I’ll still be emailing like texting.
Go weekly and nail your habits!
Anyway, long story short, start doing something every week, same time, same day… and you’ll build a great habit. Now I’m doing sports almost daily, but it started as a weekly commitment. Now I’m writing almost daily, but I still want to make sure that it’s at least a weekly commitment. And email… well, we’ll see.
Remember, if you do something more often than that, then you’ve got a bonus, which feels great. But lower the bar to the weekly minimum and make sure to deliver that. Everything else above it will feel like a win.
And we like winning. Let’s win every week!