It’s hard to be amazing every single day. Especially if you started out this year with lofty goals, you might be discouraged if you can’t seem to keep up. Instead of giving up, try the forgiving philosophy of “no zero days.”
The concept became popular on Reddit, after u/ryans01 described it in a comment. The idea is that every day you can do something toward your goals, even if it’s something very very small. Here’s how they describe it:
No more zeros. I’m not saying you gotta bust an essay out everyday, that’s not the point. The point I’m trying to make is that you have to make yourself, promise yourself, that the new SYSTEM you live in is a NON-ZERO system. Didnt’ do anything all fucking day and it’s 11:58 PM? Write one sentence. One pushup. Read one page of that chapter. One. Because one is non zero. You feel me?
Done right, a “no zero days” approach to life is motivating and forgiving. No day is ever a lost cause. It’s okay to have multiple goals, and to make sure you work on at least one every day: I didn’t go to the gym, but I wrote in my journal for ten minutes.
If you want some support as you pursue your non-zero quest, there’s now a subreddit and a cute app (free on iOS and Android) focused around the concept.
However you keep track, eliminating zero days prevents that demotivating feeling of “I haven’t done this in forever,” because you have a breadcrumb trail of tiny commitments you’ve been making every day. You may not have had time to sit down with your Spanish textbooks, but you did Duolingo for five minutes on the days you couldn’t.
Lest this seem like just another source of pressure, remember that the point is to make easy wins for yourself that snowball into bigger steps toward your goal. You may find that once you do that first push-up you’re okay with doing a few more, or that if you do a few minutes’ googling on your next project you find yourself down a research rabbit hole for hours. But if not, that’s okay! At least you did something.