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Your Winning Streak

Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors

Your Winning Streak

Take small steps to victory.
Chris Sparkguy Downie
Chris Sparkguy Downie More by this author
Dec 06, 2010 at 09:00 AM

Looking for a motivator that really works? Something sustained, consistent, and positive? Consider the streak. Streaks are motivational powerhouses: small daily and weekly goals that help launch your health and fitness program and keep it alive. Continuing a streak—whether it’s tracking your food every day, doing ten minutes of daily exercise, or drinking an extra cup of water—gives you the kind of satisfaction and motivation that will build confidence and momentum and fuel your journey.

Here’s how a streak works: Set a definite time period for your streak, such as “I’m going to cut out soda for a month,” instead of leaving it open-ended. If you reach that goal and want to continue the streak, just keep it going with a new goal, or move on to a streak on a different topic if you’d like.

Start with something you feel sure you can succeed with but don’t already do regularly. If the idea of doing something every day is intimidating and stressful, try a weekly streak, such as “I’ll walk three times a week every week for two months.” Keep track of the number of weeks in a row you reach this goal. A variation is to give yourself one or two free passes each week, so that missing a day or two doesn’t derail you. Reward yourself along the way as you reach streak milestones, especially when you reach your streak goal (a month without soda) or a personal best (the longest you’ve ever gone without soda). Create positive peer pressure by streaking in public! Telling others of your streak will help you follow through, plus it gives them the opportunity to help.

If you miss a day and break your streak, don’t worry. Just reset your counter and try to outdo yourself next time. Streaks aren’t about perfection, but doing better. The important thing with streaks is to figure out how to make them work for you. Some people love this strategy and will do just about anything to keep their streaks alive.

And don’t forget to reward yourself!  Everyone deserves a pat on the back once in a while. And there’s no better time to get one than when you’re out of your comfort zone, challenging yourself to improve.  You can reward yourself for anything you please. The keys to doing it right are consistency and frequency. Remember, you’re building a lifestyle full of healthy habits, and habits require repetition. That means rewarding good actions when they occur to give those healthy habits some positive reinforcement along the way.

Small rewards are perfect as regular, everyday “action rewards.” Small rewards can range from watching a movie or giving yourself a compliment to pausing for 20 minutes to call a friend or take a bubble bath. This strategy works even better when you make it official. Write down your rewards. Record what behavior or goal you’re working toward (and when you want to reach it, if it is a goal that can be scheduled), then tell others! Also, plan to celebrate, either by yourself or with others.

About Author
Chris Sparkguy Downie
Chris Downie is the founding force behind SparkPeople. He used proven health, goal-setting and motivation techniques to co-found an early Internet company, which became eBay's first acquisition. With the freedom and the capital to help other people r Continue reading