Let Yourself Out of Prison

There are numerous good habit forming techniques in the world. A few I currently use are the badge system within Garmin Connect which I use on my watch and the streak and league system that Duolingo uses.

What I noticed recently was that these systems were starting to hinder my development. I was a little unhappy, and not getting much enjoyment out of something that once did provide such enjoyment. The system had somewhat imprisoned me.

I was no longer walking for walking’s sake, but to get 10000 steps in or a specific mileage wtihin a month that would provide points and a badge. Each evening, I would spend time learning a language not for the sake of learning a language, but to keep a daily streak going and to remain in the diamond league.

At the same time, I know I want to continue moving and getting steps and I want to continue learning languages. I just want to be free of the system that had imprisoned me.

In order to do this it took some reflection and meditation. I needed to let go. I want to walk and run without having to consider the points or badges I may or may not gain. I want to learn a language without having to consider I may drop out of a league. The system will still be there, but I will not let it be confining anymore.

This is a balance to which I am new. In the past, I’ve been able to forgive myself for missing a day of steps or breaking a streak on Duolingo. Now, I am tyring to ignore the system and begin enjoying my time again. If I stumble and digress, the system will be there to use again if need be.

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