Challenge,  Fun Stuff

Words Add Up

Just Got to Let Them…

First off, thank you everyone for the kind comments on the streak, both in the comments and privately. That means a lot to me that my blogs have helped in some form or another.

A couple things about streaks. You don’t do them for other people or to match anyone else’s streak. You do them for yourself only. That is what gives them power. They drive you to do something that at some point in the past you thought was a good idea or that would help you.

But remember with streaks. The idea is to let something build slowly over time.

Right now I am in a pretty intense focus on exercise and losing my pandemic weight. I have a lot of 10K fun runs and half-marathons this fall, and maybe even a marathon. I want to be in shape before those start in October.

I have made it to the gym the last few days, but my timing was off, timing meaning the time of the day. The time of day I was going was not sustainable. Sort of like saying I would get up every morning early and blog. Uhhh, nope. These blogs happen at night.

And I have set my writing time solidly now. After midnight, so most of the time these blogs will happen before writing, as I am doing this one.

But where to fit the gym time and how much to exercise?

Now Kris does 12,000 steps per day minimum and is on a streak now for years at that level, and that includes her early morning running, and she is on a two-year streak of over 100,000 steps per week. I help her by asking at times if she has gotten her steps like she asks me if I have blogged.

I did the math of that and I know for a fact that if I could start that exact same streak for me, I would get to the shape and weight I want to be at in fairly quick order. Certainly before a half-marathon on October 16th.

So I took the huge number of 12,000 steps and broke it into something that fits my mind. 10K for me, walking is about 11,000 steps with my stride. And my best time doing a 10K walking is 1 hour and 30 minutes. (My best time run/walking is 1 hour and 15 minutes.)

So the last two days at the gym I have been finding walking (indoor track) a 5k fairly easy. Not really a push. But a 10K would be a push, but I got a hunch after a week or so, not much of a push. But it would be a hard first week.

And that is the truth about any streak, writing, exercise, a sport. You name it, the start of a streak is ALWAYS HARD.

But getting 10K every day at the gym would make my day.

And Kris suggested I just do it first thing every morning, no matter what time I got up. I honestly don’t function well first thing, so why not just go walk? She has a point. That time would be sustainable if I could make it into a habit. I would be done with the exercise and my day and night would be free.

There is an old rule that I have found very, very true. It is called the 21/90 rule and I have no idea who came up with it.

It takes 21 days to form a habit and 90 days to make it part of your lifestyle. Seems about right to me.

So maybe a new streak is starting up.

We shall see how it goes.


  • Joe Cleary

    Congrats on your nine year blogging streak, Dean. It’s an amazing accomplishment and has given me more motivation than you can imagine.

    I’m a week into my own exercise streak and it feels amazing. I also committed to doing it first thing in the morning, which for me means getting up an hour earlier at 4:30. My brain wakes up later, but by the time it does, my body has already done the hardest part of my day. Good feeling getting it out of the way first thing.

    Gooduck. Yoi’ve got this!

  • Vincent Zandri

    Great stuff Dean, no doubt you’ll get there. Unless I’m traveling overseas on research, in which case I get up at dawn and exercise, I will write for a couple hours in the AM then at 10am head out for a run followed by weight training. Takes about 2 hours. Every afternoon around 330pm I walk 1.5 miles and think about what I’ve been writing. I’ve maintained this “streak” for about 22 years.

  • Kate+Pavelle

    Great going on the streak, Dean, and thank you for reminding me that the start is always hard.
    Oh, boy, the mental gyrantions I go through to make myself move!
    Like, I tried to bundle a new habit with an existing one. I do a load of laundry pretty much every day, so I figured I’d bundle lifting weights in the basement together with doing a laundry task. I’ve gone years and the laundry was always under control. But add the threat of lifting weights, and we got 3 loads behind. A sack of dirty whites was sitting by the door to the basement.
    I knew if I went down to do the load, I’d HAVE to lift weights. (It’s a rule now.)
    So my poor husband was on his last pair of tighty whities before I heaved a deep sigh, put up that darn load, and… worked out for half an hour.
    It actually felt pretty good and I think I’ll be okay once I work up some momentum.
    But since I hate being behind on laundry, the rule will have to stay. I am, apparently, too lazy otherwise!

  • Keith+West

    Hi, Dean.

    What you’re describing sounds very much like what Darren Hardy talks about in his book THE COMPOUND EFFECT. Small changes practiced consistently lead to large benefits down the road. The opposite is true, of course.

    Thanks for the example you set.



  • Deb Miller

    Late to comment here, but just wanted to add one thought. I’ve been on a big exercise “streak” after multiple injuries, and one of my focuses has been losing weight. One thing I found (and this fits with multiple running training plans I’ve used in the past) is that I needed a “rest / backoff” week every so often. I planned them into my training plan, but found it really was better to let my body tell me when it needed to rest. Not sure how this fits with a writing streak, but my guess is that there’s some similiarity.