When we don’t show up for a good habit, we lose a little bit of the momentum that we had built up for that good habit. That loss in absolute terms is greater than any of your gains. To illustrate, let’s give a pretend score level of where you might be with a good habit right now: 20.
What does it mean to have a 10% gain or loss? Let’s first pretend you show up and have a 10% gain. Since 10% of 20 is 2, you move up to 22. Now, let’s say you don’t show up for your good habit and suffer a 10% loss. Since 10% of 22 is 2.2 you drop down to 19.8. The losses we suffer are greater in magnitude than the gains we make. This is an unfair reality of life.
What if we turn it around? Say we had a 10% loss first. Again, 10% of 20 is 2, so we would drop down to 18. To combat this loss, say we turn up again for our good habits and make a 10% gain. Well, 10% of 18 is only 1.8, so that puts us only up to 19.8.
Even if we do the bare minimum with our good habits, and make the most insignificant gains, I hope you see the importance of showing up.
Maybe you didn’t have time to put a practice plan together for the guitar. Pick it up anyway and go through those basics again. Do something minimal, so that you don’t suffer a loss in muscle memory for those difficult chords.
Perhaps you ran out of time for that 3 mile run you had planned. How about a quick jog around the park? Or even the block? You might think to yourself that you’re gaining nothing from that. You may be right! And that’s not a bad thing at all because you’re not losing had you convinced yourself to not show up.
Let’s make sure you’re showing up for your good habits every time. While it isn’t necessary to make gains every time, it is very important that we don’t suffer losses.