I love a routine. I make no qualms that I feel comfortable with a set-way of doing things. However, I am not enslaved to routine. If a situation calls for me to be flexible, I will.
However, I feel something related to routine has a firmer grasp on me. I don’t even know if this concept/condition has an official term so let me coin it for my Don’t Blink audience with my own word—streakism.
Streakism is routine’s cousin and I feel like it has become much more prominent in society over the past several years. I define streakism as the compulsive need to complete a task on a daily, weekly, or other timed interval basis. There isn’t a prescribed way—or routine—to do it, you just got to get it done somehow within the certain allotted time period.
But definitions are one thing, examples are another. Let me give you a couple. This morning I completed my 2,047th straight day of looking at my Timehop app. For those who don’t know, Timehop pulls your camera roll and social media posts to give you a curated snapshot of what you did on a particular day in past years. To keep you checking, the app keeps a tally of your “streak.”
Another example is the 1 Second Everyday video challenge I am doing this year. You literally get a notification telling you to record a video at the end of the day if you have not uploaded one to the app yet. After two months I have really enjoyed doing this, but the low-key pressure is definitely there.
Keep in mind, streakism isn’t always expressed so blatantly. Whether it be listening to my Catechism in a Year podcast, making sure I get that blog post written, or getting my five workouts in for the week, these are all examples of streakism that gnaw at me until I get them done. Lent adds even more to my streakism mindset.
Just like with routine, I think streakism can be great. However, in the same way that being so routine-based can produce rigidity and stress, leading a streak-based life can produce similar feelings.
For me, I need to do better at not equating a “good day” to whether I checked all the boxes and extended all of my streaks. Shedding some pressure, especially when it comes to silly social media streaks, wouldn’t be a bad thing. Because when it all comes down to it, even Cal Ripken Jr.’s consecutive games played streak came to an end, right? Don’t Blink.