Streaks For #Careerlions
If you are a snapchat, Pokémon Go, or Duolingo user, then you should be well aware of the meaning of streaks. My definition of a streak is: “Pursuing a certain activity multiple days in a row, keeping track of the number of days you were able to maintain it.” As a #careerlion, you have many goals you want to pursue. Want to know more on how streaks can help you to achieve this? If so, then continue reading!
Why you should use streaks
Who hasn’t heard of the saying: “great habits are formed daily”? While there is a lot of advocating that habits would be formed in 21 days, there are others indicating that habits require consistent dedication. I have to say that I agree with the latter. Even though I usually manage to get through the first part of the habit, at some point it is no longer at the top my goal-list and I let it slide again. For instance, I was able to exercise four times a week for a period much longer than 21 days. Work trips, holidays, and dancing trips interfered. Now, I am back to twice a week. Another example: I was reading my copy of The Daily Stoic every single day far longer than 21 consecutive days, but hectic weeks happened and now we are at zero reads in the last few weeks. My point being that if you want to keep up with these kinds of daily/weekly goals, you will have to keep track.
Streaks are a great way to keep up with all of your resolutions and goals. Once you have a streak going, it is just way too painful to see your streak go to waste. Was that *fill in your activity of choice* really so hard that particular day or week? Well, if it ruins your streak I bet you it will. The streaks will make sure that your habits aren’t interrupted by discouragement, disruptions or the seduction of success. You can also build in certain reward systems, linked to the duration of your streak.
What you can use streaks for
Streaks can basically be used for any type of habit that you would like to maintain. The idea is that it will help you through the phase where you usually become less excited. Here, I will just share with you the habits I like to use streaks for. I hope to inspire and motivate you:
- Writing articles for #careerlions: Since the launch of our blog, Liona and I have never missed our weekly goal to launch an article. Whether I am away on a business trip, dance competition or holiday, I will always make sure to make this goal.
- Learning French: Duolingo automatically registers your streaks measuring your set goal.
- Exercising: My goal is to exercise at least two times a week, actually striving for four times a week. This means that on regular weeks I will have at least two dance classes and go to the gym two additional times. I have managed to make this goal many consecutive weeks and have to pick it up again.
- Reading: My goal is to read at least one book a month. Of course, the size of the book does matter. However, I don’t like to make too many exceptions.
- Make a playlist: As I don’t download as much music anymore, I like to make at least one playlist a month with my favorite songs on Soundcloud and/or Spotify. This way I will maintain a library with my favorite music that I can download when I go on holiday and to have as a memory for later. My music taste usually represents a phase in my life, which I will then be able to scroll through like a photo album.
How to keep track of your streaks
As said before, keeping track of your streaks is key. But what is the best way to do so? In my experience, there isn’t one ultimate way. Here, is a short list of ways to keep track of your streaks:
- A notebook: Of course, you can make a short overview in your notebook. A lot of people do this, but they usually put in a lot of effort in the design. If you want something like this, make sure you get a squared notebook to design this more easily. As a busy #careerlion, this might not be the most efficient way. You will have to take the notebook everywhere and design your own system on paper that may not even be reusable.
- Your agenda: In your agenda, you will be able to use the yearly overview for tracking your goal my means of symbols. However, this doesn’t allow you to keep track of many goals. You could use that overview only for your monthly goals and use the weekly/daily views for the other goals. Again, using some symbols could be an efficient way of differentiating between the different goals. If you are not an owner of a paper agenda, then try adding in appointments lasting the full day if you were able to complete your goal in a separate “streak” agenda. That way you will be able to filter on just your streaks and they will instantly get another color in your overview.
- Print out a schedule: As you probably know, it is possible to print out empty schedules as well. Let’s say you print out a monthly overview, then you can use this to indicate whether you managed to make your daily/weekly/monthly goals again using symbols.
- An app: Lastly, there are a lot of apps out there that can help you keep track of your streaks too. Free versions often only allow you to keep track of a few streaks. The paid option I found most promising is STREAKS. It has won the apple design award and has raving reviews. The only downside to this app, is that it only lets you do six at a time and it doesn’t offer the opportunity to include monthly streaks. On the other hand, the monthly streaks are probably the easiest to track without an app in anyway.
Are you ready to use streaks more in pursuit of your goals? Which goals will you keep track of and how will you do so? Let us know your thoughts on the usage of streaks in the comment section below.