We often hear the phrase, “You can do anything for 20 minutes.” I usually hear this phrase from a fitness instructor on my tv screen while I’m sweating at home and wondering if I actually can do anything for 20 minutes. The emphasis is to give it to give it your all through this relatively short time and it will soon be over. For me, my struggles become easier when they have an end date. This is why I love the workout videos that have a countdown clock.
But not every growth opportunity that comes our way has a defined time limit. Our job search may not have a countdown clock. Or a chronic illness may not come with an expiration date. With no end in sight, these types of trials could overwhelm me with feelings of hopelessness and thoughts of no purpose. The antidote to this kind of destructive thinking is a shift in perspective from the temporary to the lasting.
This subtle paradigm shift is one of the byproducts of streaking for me. Aside from the consistent ways in which I am growing to be the person I want to become, streaking is helping me with a mental shift that has moved me from a focus on the short game to the long game. Streaks don’t have an end date. The whole point of streaking is to see how long you can consistently complete an intentional action that will help you become the person you want to become. In this way, streaking is more than a goal, it becomes a part of your life.
It is possible to set an intense goal that will stretch you for a period of time. These types of goals can cause you to rearrange your life and priorities in order to accomplish them. We may think, “I can do anything for a month or two,” so we agree to eat only watermelon or get up at 3:30 AM or run five miles a day knowing that this isn’t forever. This mindset can be useful for different things that we would like to accomplish. But what about the priorities and traits that we want to be part of our lives forever? Streaking is the best tool for intentionally building these things into our lives.
My mind still sometimes balks at the idea that I have set streaks with no end date; intentional actions that I could possibly do every day until I die. Then another thought comes to my mind, one that focuses on much more than just this moment. That thought says, “What a great way to be actively building the life you want!” This shift from the here and now mindset to decades and even forever beyond is helping me create essential priorities and focus on what is best. This paradigm shift is coming to me as a result of streaking.