To a young lad growing up in rural Norfolk in 1982, Erika Roe made quite an impression. Running topless onto the Twickenham pitch before being escorted off with a policeman’s helmet containing half of what she wanted to show the world, she achieved infamy. And thirty five years later, her example to us all inspires this blog.
I’m not advocating running topless as a strategy to achieve more in life, don’t worry, but I am a massive fan of streaking. In the modern world of addictive mobile phone games and gamification of the work place, building and maintaining streaks is an important way to build commitment, momentum and progress. Let me give some examples that do not involve removing clothing:
- I use a free app called Duolingo (highly recommend it) to help me learn French. I do it almost every day – and it tells me how many consecutive days I have managed to build. As the number grows, I become more and more motivated to ensure I do my daily practice, so that I don’t “lose” my streak.
- Many factories and workplaces have signs up, counting the number of days accident free, as a way to promote a health and safety culture. A former client had something similar on their wall, pertaining to the number of days without messing up client work. Their word for messing started with F, but they had small rewards as the number built up, and clients had mess-up free work.
- My email newsletter (and latterly this blog) is a great example of a streak. I sent the first one in August 2002, and have written one every month since. That is 188 months. Imagine the pressure I put on myself not to lose THAT streak – and so I always ensure I get it out on time.
I decided to make streaks the focus of this post because of conversations I have been having with a number of clients about converting long term plans (see last two blogs…) into daily actions, and momentum towards them. Whatever your goal, there is probably a regular action you could take that would build streaks and take you towards your target:
- How many days can you make one sales call a day?
- How many weeks can you have 3 days of exercise, to help you get fit?
- How many visits to London can you take without buying a coffee-shop coffee, saving the money towards your wealth-building goal?
- How many games can you go without losing, or conceding a goal, to help you build towards a sporting achievement?
- How many months can you hit or exceed your profit target?
- How many days can you engage in meaningful conversation with colleagues, to build your team and properly manage your people?
- How many months can you turn my newsletter into an identifiable action you will take to achieve your goals?
- How many years can you remember your spouse’s birthday, or your anniversary?
Whatever is important to you, there is probably a streak that will help you get there. Start today, and keep going. Do share them with me! Please, no topless pictures.