top 10 thoughts on keeping a tiny daily habit.

tiny daily habits by tammie bennett image

for the past 366 days, i sprinted for 10 seconds and posted it on instagram.  every. single. day. for a year.  a leap year. 366 days.  without missing a day.  i called it my #daily10secondsprint.

for those of you who are new here, i'm a FIRM believer in doing something tiny every day to get you closer to your big fat goals and dreams.  i've kept at least two tiny daily habits for over 4 years, ranging from journaling, filling a page in my sketchbook, creating repeat patterns, doing a plank, to meditating.  

here are my thoughts on keeping this particular tiny, daily habit. you know, the sprint for 10 seconds one.  

oh. my. gosh.  i think this was the hardest project i’ve ever done.  harder than studying for the california bar exam with a 4 month old baby but no baby sitter. harder than creating a repeat pattern every day of 2012.  harder than giving up soda for a year.  

i’m not sure why it was so hard.  but as hard as it was, it was just as rewarding.  i’ve found that some of the hardest struggles result in some of the sweetest victories.  please don't get it twisted here.  me saying it was hard is not me being a negative debbie downer.  it's me being super real.  i'm being honest and letting you know that keeping a daily habit such as this is NOT EASY.  some days it isn't fun.  but it is SO, SO #worthit.  

as i was writing this post, a lot of it started to sound familiar.  i went back to read my post after 100 days of this daily sprint.  NONE of those observations changed in the last 266 days of this habit.  crazy.  click here to read my thoughts from when i was 100 days in to this project. 

here are my fresh thoughts now that i’ve finished.  

  1. wow, i really didn’t travel very much.  the vast majority of sprints were outside my front door or on the nike campus.  that’s okay.  that’s the season of my life right now. (i did manage a few sprints in airports though).    
  2. doing the daily sprint didn’t get me to run as much as i thought it would. i envisioned me warming up, doing the sprint and then going for a run.  that rarely happened.  most often, i did my sprint and called it a day.  and i didn’t even warm up on most days. NOT what i advise the runners i coach.
  3. my body is older than my mind.  my body rebelled and i had to do a lot of sprints that didn’t involve my legs.  that’s okay.  it was a fun exercise in creativity to come up with other "sprints".  in the tiny daily habits course i taught last year, this is what i called the ugly days.  letting go of perfection.  i had to let go of what i thought the sprint should be and just get something done.  having an "ugly day" is better than having a blank day! 
  4. i am so, so grateful i did it.  i think the biggest reward is that i fought through the moments where i felt like i couldn’t even lift my legs.  the moments where i was crawling into my warm, comfy bed just before midnight only to remember that i didn’t do my sprint yet.  i can’t explain the gravity of the mental effort it took to have this challenge hovering inside my brain all day until i completed it.  everyday.  for 366 days.  
  5. i was surprised at how many people paid attention. it was a major talking point when running into people i don’t see everyday.  (and when seeing people i DO see everyday.)  this was such a fun surprise from this project.  thank you so much if you're one of the ones who supported me through this.  every single like and comment on instagram, email and in-person helped carry me.  thank you. 
  6. i am so grateful my family filmed so many of these days.  even when they didn’t want to stand in the cold rain and have me do re-take after re-take.  they have been such a big part of this challenge.  i LOVE that my kids are growing up to see this kind of undertaking unfold in front of their eyes.  thank you chris, jack, maggie and emma.
  7. i might not ever sprint again.  ever.  my 11 year old daughter asked if i was going to keep sprinting and i not-so-jokingly replied that i am never going to sprint again unless i’m being chased or my art papers whip away into the wind.  hahaha.  i will miss the feeling of exerting myself past the limit of comfort and i will miss the wind on my face and feeling alive. and yes, i will sprint again someday.  
  8. some of my favorite sprints :: flashdance //  the nod to radiohead // moonroof // track kids   // cannon beach //  anniversary // roundabout
  9. so what am i going to do with all the videos?  compile them into a movie of course!! 61 minutes of pure fun.  i’m thinking of having a party where i play the video and you have to drink every time i sprint.  (ha ha ha ha)
  10. i really, really do encourage anybody and everybody out there who is contemplating a daily habit to DO it!!! you will never regret it.