When you’re starting a new habit, I recommend giving yourself an out.
What do I mean by this?
“Okay, I’ll just do this X times. If I don’t enjoy it after this time, I can quit.” I recommend at least 30 days. Closer to 100 days would be ideal.
This will give you enough time to suck, improve, and get better.
When you start something new, the idea of doing forever seems daunting.
For example, I started Naval’s 60 minutes, 60-day meditation challenge in May. Sitting with my thoughts for an hour was intimidating. So, my “out” of 60 days gave me some comfort. The first week was challenging. But by the end of 60 days, I couldn’t imagine not meditating every day for at least 60 minutes.
It works for three reasons:
- The habit changes you.
- It you a timeframe you can imagine.
- You are not the same person in the beginning of the challenge as you were when you started.
The out allows you to outsource the decision to a stronger version of yourself.
I use the word “out” because it doesn’t mean you have quit. But you don’t have to feel bad about quitting if the habit isn’t for you.
Here are some of my current outs:
- 100 podcast episodes (23 published)
- 100 newsletters (25)
- 100 blog posts (69)
- 14 days of daily writing (5)
These are all related to content, but in the past, I’ve used outs for weightlifting, reading, and meditation.
If you end up giving this a try, let me know on Twitter.
This is Day 5 of 14 of my daily writing challenge.