I wrote about “Streaking” last January here:
Here is a small summary of what I wrote last January :
“Jeff Downs, the guy with the big idea, is in the process of writing his book. He said there are three rules.”
- It has to be laughingly simple
- You must keep score
- Find a community
“Laughingly simple means it is so easy it can be done everyday. Keeping score means marking a calendar, and a community can be your family, or say, a running group or an online forum.’ This is what structure looks like on making habits stick.
“So my first streak is organizing anything in my house or car 5 minutes a day.’
“My second streak is working on sewing , jewelry, photos or my aunt’s papers which are stored in my sewing room for 5 minutes a day.”
A year later I am here to report Streaking is a great idea. It has taken the small compounding idea talked about in Atomic Habits and linked them so that you can have a long chain of tiny success everyday. Through the year I reduced both goals to 1 minute (more laughingly simple) and it produced the amplifying results that James Clear wrote about in my last post on Atomic Habits. I worked on organizing every part of our house, but didn’t record it or form a community. By the last three months I had stopped my one minute organizing streak. Sewing or working on other projects in my sewing room has stuck. I am given cast off clothes by my daughters to be changed or my own stuff needs to be ironed or hemmed. That 6 minute focus a week kept my clothes and our household in good shape throughout the year. It always stretches to more time than 6 minutes a week but that small habit means it is an ongoing lifestyle change for me. My Structure/Cue is that my sewing room is next to the room where I exercise so I go right next door and look around at what I have place there that needs fixing. I also, at the end of last year, used the minute a day to go through piles of stuff that had sat in the sewing room all year. Someone said that piles are put off decisions, and I had quite a few. That was the “addition through subtraction” principle James Clear talked about when I reduced mind friction in my sewing room so that it is all clear when I go in there and has become a wonderful place to work for me.
What I found through the year was my streaking habits worked well 6 days a week but inevitably on Sundays I would forget, because I don’t exercise on Sunday. I talked to my husband about it last month and he said for him, “Sunday is None-day”– Meaning he had a completely different mindset and schedule on Sunday and so he would break his streaking chain every week. I didn’t know that he was doing that! As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one of our core beliefs is keeping the Sabbath day holy, so when he shared that with me, I thought, “Yes, of course!”
Streaking all year let me see the power of compounding small habits. It has made two home-keeping chores that I never seemed to get to, doable, and not always nagging me at the back of my mind.
This week I have started my one minute organizing and sewing room habits again. I have improved my structure around my streaking habits because I have placed them securely next to my exercising habit which has become pretty cemented. Here’s to another year of getting stuff done! Of slowly, minutely, making progress. What are some laughingly simple changes you would like to make?