As much as I can get on my soap box about choosing “metrics that matter,” I can be won over by metrics just as much as anyone. This is especially true when it comes to my daily ritual streaks.
Today I hit a new milestone in my daily meditation practice: 1,400 days.
I know this because the Calm iPhone app keeps track of it for me.
When I saw the total pop up on the screen after completing my meditation today, I felt flooded with pride in my accomplishment.
And then I realized I would need more meditation practice to work on my equanimity. 😉
What’s So Special About a Number?
If we’re looking at this rationally, there’s nothing special about 1,400 days. It’s not qualitatively different from 1,397 or 1,399, or 1,403. Those days are equally worthy of a moment of celebration.
Showing up is showing up, whether you’ve done it for 7 days or 700 or 1,393.
Yet, there’s something about round numbers that speaks to me in a different way. Today felt bigger than yesterday, in the same way that birthdays ending with 0 or 5 tend to feel more important than birthdays ending in 2 or 7.
There’s something about those big round numbers that cause us to stop and reflect, to mark the moment, to receive the wisdom that awaits us.
Today, as I marked the moment, the message that came to me was to celebrate.
The Big Wins Are In the Little Wins
Those of us who chase after the thrill of big achievements often miss out on the smaller things we do that set us up for the big victories. Many of my clients tend to discount the small things they do as not being “big enough” achievements to celebrate. We often overlook our small wins, waiting for the big moments. But the big achievements don’t just happen.
Hitting a 1,400 day milestone in anything certainly feels like a big moment. For 1,400 days, I’ve shown up to my mat for meditation practice.
The big win is not in the totality of 1,400 days. The metric that matters here is each individual day. Without those individual days, there is no big number.
As I remind my clients and myself often, the big wins are in the little wins. Without showing up every day, I don’t get to 1,400 days.
It was not always easy, but I found a way. It certainly feels like a big deal.
And just so there’s no illusion of perfection here, I have had many days where my meditation was not “ideal” (whatever that means). It may have been only a couple of minutes, or I may have gotten completely lost in thoughts or hijacked by emotions.
Today, I can’t tell you which days were “good” and which left room for improvement. And it doesn’t really matter. They all get lost in the totality of the experience.
What matters is that I showed up every day, no matter what. An unfocused, 2-minute meditation might feel inconsequential in the moment, hardly worth celebrating. But in the bigger picture, you can see that it’s a crucial link in a chain of 1,400 days.
Don’t discount the little things. In the end, you’ll see that they are the building blocks to the big things.
Showing up is showing up, no matter what form it takes.