I didn’t address this yesterday but it was clear to many of you that I broke my streak of posting at 58.
The first day I didn’t write I didn’t even realize it. I flew to Denver, drove around to see houses, had dinner with a friend and collapsed into bed without giving blogging a thought. If that had been it I would probably ask for a mulligan and just extend my goal by a single day.
However I chose not the write the next day. It felt just like that cheat day on a diet. You start with a small piece of toast and end up with a carton of ice cream in bed at 11:59pm. I mean, you could have turned it around, but then you probably wouldnt need to diet in the first place.
By you I mean me. I don’t think any of you need to diet.
So that second day. That day of choice where I chose not to write is the one that forces me to look more closely at my 100 day goal.
I felt a little fuzzy about the motivation behind it even as I began. I am still not totally clear. When I woke up Sunday and realized I hadn’t written I felt terrible. So that is a bit of information. After I passed day 50 I really started to think I could make it to 100. Choosing not to write the next day reaffirmed that I want to accomplish this goal. I want to be able to say that I did something difficult despite the bumps and uncertainties of life I finished something.
Now I need to determine what will feel like finishing. Which of these ideas sounds fair to you. If you can offer reasons that will be great. Reading your thinking will help me inform my own.
1. Start again today (or yesterday) at day 1 (or day 2.) This has the advantage of clearly accomplishing my goal. This has the disadvantage of being really really hard.
2. Create a formula for missed days, then add them to the end. 1 missed day = 2 extra posts. 2 missed days = 4 extra posts, where each day missed = 2, 7 or n posts. If I never miss a post again I will have to add 4 posts to the count to reach the goal. Has the advantage of helping me reach my goal. Has the disadvantage of approximating the day care experiment. Do you know that experiment? Parents were consistently late picking up their children from daycare. So in an effort to incentivize parents to be on time the daycare began charing $5 for every 10 minute interval that parents were late. The administration (and many researchers after the fact) were surprised to see late pick ups increase dramatically. Parents who had previously been on time began opting in on late pickup. There are lots of theories about this outcome but in general it boils down conforming to norms being a motivator…and putting a price on tardiness made it a legitimate option.
3. Just pick up and keep going until I get to 102. This has the advantage of being super easy. This is the disadvantage of taking the teeth out of the challenge.
What do you think?