don’t get entangled
in the tyranny of how
before asking why
Since September 2013, there is one question I’ve been asked more than anything else.
How do you do it?
The “it” in question at the time was my consistency with daily workouts. That was the month I reached a milestone of 30 consecutive days of daily workouts. At the time it felt like a big deal — I hadn’t ever put together a streak like that for anything. Not even sleep.
Fast forward to today. I’ve now extended that streak to over 8 years. And I’ve added several more daily practices that I no longer measure in days, but in years.
- journaling – 8+ years
- gratitude practice – 7+ years
- meditation – 6+ years
- blogging – 4+ years
In this time, that question — how do you do it? — has become more frequent and persistent.
If this leaves you wondering how I do it, I have some news for you:
You’re asking the wrong question.
There are many ways how to do something. All will be ineffective without the answer to 2 *WHY*s:
- why do you want to do it?
- why aren’t you doing it already?
Over the course of nearly a decade I have distilled a set of guiding principles and frameworks that has helped me build longevity in daily practices across many activities.
The framework I used to build a daily exercise practice is the same framework I used to create a daily writing practice. This framework even works for non-daily practices.
Those principles are useful, but ultimately, what sustains a practice over the long term is having a clear understanding of these two areas:
- your reasons for wanting to it in the first place
- the habits, excuses, and resistance that tend to derail you
Knowing what motivates and — more important — what demotivates and derails you is the key to sustaining anything over the long term.
Before you ask how? investigate the why.