Category: Habits

No Days off


Mahatma Gandhi

Time to Read: 2 mins

What a busy weekend! On Saturday I played with my 5-year son, finished Firewatch (great game) and watched Dough (an entertaining movie). On Sunday we went to visit a few winery’s, went to the strawberry farm and then stopped by my parent’s house for dinner.

I have committed to completing 5 daily activities to help improve my emotional, mental and spiritual state.

But over that weekend I managed to complete 1 out of the 5 daily activities that I usually commit to every day. Outside of having a fabulous weekend, what did I learn from skipping over these activities?

I learned that taking days off kills your momentum. We all need time off now and again to break away from our normal day to day activities. But when we’re trying to build habits, the truth is that days off hurt. This is especially true in the early stages of habit formation.

No days off
Committing to daily practice reminded me of the statement: ‘No days off’. And so, I wanted to explore what types of feelings and beliefs we have around this statement. Who is it typically used by, if it’s the approach towards excellence and whether it is even achievable.

Having a quick search around the web, you will find that the ‘no days off’ line is typically associated with either, gym junkies or in rap music. The other instance where it is commonly used is in sports. For the most part and statement comes off and very cliche.

It infers that an individual is exerting so much will power to make sure that they arrive at a destination or goal first. It’s hard, it’s competitive and that only means that you simply can’t afford to take a day off.

For someone to take on this view and approach is impressive. But how long can you last?

If you find a task difficult and unenjoyable, how long can you possibly keep at it? If the only thing that keeps you going is motivation, I have some bad news. Motivation (like our ability to focus) is finite. But some people have been able to keep it going.

Choose your Habit’s wisely
No days off simply means that you have established a habit. A habit that is so ingrained that it’s no longer a chore, motivation is no longer required, you don’t even think about it, it just happens, and is a part of who you are. So choose your habits wisely.

Daily habit is all about mastery, but before you get there somewhere along the way you decided that it was important. It was important enough that you decided to come back to it day after day.

Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.

– Mahatma Gandhi