Creating Writing Habit: Take Two

The person who is writing a book on developing healthy habits through principles of animal training with operant conditioning and positive reinforcement is having trouble sticking to her own habits of WRITING said book on developing healthy habits…..

I did pretty good for NaNoWriMo.  I exceeded my word count goal of 500 words a day, and got just under 30,000 words for the entire month.  But December 1st came around, and I didn’t write anything, and then the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th I went away, leaving my computer at home (on purpose), and then from there my writing daily went to poo.

Sooooooo, coming up to the new year, I’m going to try a Take Two of this healthy habit of writing.  I’m going to try the same method I employ for tracking food.  I like increasing my track record.  And nothing is likely to get me to remember to log in my meals than a little reminder sent by MyFitnessPal saying “you’ve logged in for 284 days in a row.  Log in to make it 285!”

I look at my husband, Chris, who has been doing daily art for at LEAST 30 minutes a day for over 1400 days (that’s not a typo, FOURTEEN HUNDRED DAYS).  Most days he does more than 2 hours of art.  I don’t know if time or word count should be employed, but damn, I would LOVE to have his dedication.  And after 100 days, much less 1400, I would be damned if I’m going to skip a day.

I lost my 2 year streak on MyFitnessPal in September. I was at the AAZK national conference and was freaking out over my workshop I would be presenting at the end of the week.  I wasn’t paying attention to the reminders, or remembering to log in my breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  It was harder than most days because the food I was eating wasn’t part of my normal repertoires of meals.  But that’s still an excuse.  Chris has gone on vacations, even to Europe, even on a day when we spent twenty hours travelling back from Europe, and has yet to miss a day of doing some art.  He’s gotten smart about it though.  He knows it’s unlikely he’ll get 2 hours of art time, so he brings just a sketchbook and plan for his minimum 30 minutes for each day.  Some days he has the opportunity for more time, and that’s bonus, on vacation, but he still doesn’t miss a day.

Okay, so I’m going to try this Healthy Habit of Writing again.  Keeping track of my winning streak might be one way until I’ve gotten far enough along that missing a day will make me sick to my stomach.

And of course, I made a list!

  • 3 days
  • 7 days
  • 10 days
  • 15 days
  • 21 days
  • 30 days
  • 45 days
  • 50 days
  • 60 days (2 months)
  • 75 days
  • 90 days
  • 100 days
  • 120 days (4 months)
  • 150 days
  • 175 days
  • 180 days (6 months)
  • 200 days
  • 250 days
  • 300 days (10 months)
  • 365 days (1 year!)

Each “milestone” will constitute a reward of some sort.  I’m leaning toward iTunes downloads, movie night, spa days (at home and beauty salons), Captain Whidbey Inn retreat (weekend getaway sort of thing), shopping spree in Seattle, Greenbank Winery spree.

Now I just need an app to track my writing streak.  Any suggestions?

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