Starting a STREAK has to be one of the simplest and most gratifying ways of creating a healthy habit that I have ever come across.
And by streak I don’t mean running across your local sporting pitch naked or posting pictures on Snapchat.
Rather I am talking about the streak that involves setting yourself a small challenge to perform one new habit over a continuous period of time.
You can use the concept of a streak to change or create any kind of habit in your life from walking your dog every day to eating more vegetables, to writing daily in your journal, meditating regularly or calling your dear old mum a couple of times a week.
It doesn’t matter what habit you want to form a streak can work wonders for you.
I am currently on a yoga streak and am loving it. Since the 22nd of November 2016 have done at least 10 minutes of yoga a day. I started out with a simple 30 day online challenge (I did this one from Do You Yoga) and have kept it going ever since. Not only has my yoga improved (a lot) but I am less stressed, am much calmer and really look forward to my yoga time every day. I can’t imagine not doing it now – not just because I don’t want to break my streak (although it’s true, I don’t) but because I have really come to understand and feel the benefits of doing a regular yoga practice.
In the past I have been on running streaks to kick start my yearly training, I have been on writing streaks, goal setting streaks and meditating streaks. I have even just started up a push-up streak (because I am officially and alarmingly an incredible push-up wimp). All these streaks have been fun and surprisingly transformative and have helped me to create a lot of positive habits that I continue way past the time the streak officially ended.
It always amazes me how changing just one little thing in your life can snowball and have so many other positive knock on effects.
There are a number of ways you can approach a streak
Firstly you need to decide whether you are going to set a finite goal for your streak (for example, to run every day for a month) or whether you are going to leave it open ended and just see how long you can keep it up.
Sometimes people are a little intimidated by the thought of an open ended challenge so if this is the case I would definitely recommend you set yourself a target number of days for your streak. This will help to keep yourself motivated and on track. You might very well find that you want to keep the streak going – if so that is great – but setting an end date takes some of the pressure to succeed off.
(And please always keep in mind that a streak is not about perfection, it is about making yourself better – so don’t beat yourself up if you break you streak, instead look at the progress and changes you made.)
Next you need to decide the frequency with which you will perform your goal habit. Streaks can be either done daily – i.e. you have to perform your new habit every day, or your goal might be more suited to a weekly or monthly streak – for example perform your habit three times a week for consecutive weeks.
A great way to keep motivated on your streak is to get yourself a big paper calendar and put it somewhere you see it all the time. Mark off each and every day with a big juicy cross.
There is something so satisfying about seeing a chain of crosses growing longer and longer on your calendar as you mark off the days of success.
Of course with modern technology there are now apps that can help you keep track of your streaks. A great one to look at is www.streaksapp.com.
Continuing a streak is a pleasure in itself – not to mention the fantastic new habit that you are creating and all the benefits that are accruing from that.
Small consistent actions = big changes
The power of the streak shows that you don’t need to make huge grand gestures to change your life. You just need to do small positive things regularly and the change mounts up before you know it.
Pick just one small health goal that you know that you can do and get started with that. I promise you when you start to see the difference that even one small change can make to your life – the effects will snow ball and you will be changing things left right and centre with little effort. Once your body knows what it is like to feel good, positive habits will start to come very easy.
Harness the streak to improve your health
There is no reason why the power of the streak can’t be used to help you to eat healthier too.
We all want to look great, feel fit, happy and healthy. Right?
And we all know the eating well is one of the keys to ultimate health. But more often than not it all seems a bit overwhelming.
So why not harness the streak?
Some examples of streaks you might challenge yourself with are:
- drink a smoothie each day ( I have started my two sons on this one and although there were a few complaints at first they are LOVING it now – they are even asking for them, rather than being required to drink them! You should see the greens go down 🙂 )
- cut out all junk food on week days
- drink 8 glasses of water a day
- eat a salad a day
- swap out your daily latte for a herbal tea
and the list could go on. One of the best things I know of to really change up the way you eat and dramatically improve your health is to eat more fruit and veg every day. Only a very tiny percentage of us actually eat the recommended 7 serves despite all their disease fighting and weight loss properties. That is why I create the 7-a-day fruit and veg challenge, which is aimed to set you up for a fruit and veg streak that can radically improve your health. Check it out here for lots of free recipes, motivation and inspiration
So I challenge you to make a start and think about one little change you would like to make in your life. It doesn’t matter what it is. Just get on board with the STREAK and see the power it has to transform your habits.
Once you do one, you will be hooked
I would so love to hear all about any streaks you are starting or have done in the past. Fun, crazy, challenging or transformative let us all know in the comments below. You never know how your little transformation might just spark a life changing transformation in someone else too!