Previous: 100 days of planks (2021-02-27)
I suppose, now, that I could have started a daily habit of something more useful 281 days ago, but here we are. Core strength is good, although with a slouchy posture it does lose some of its efficacy. Today, after ratcheting up the time—every day increase 5 seconds, every Monday back it off to 5 seconds longer than the previous Monday, every day increase 5 seconds, and so on and so on—I got up to doing 6 (continuous) minutes of planks. It's not a meaningful accomplishment except in Bro Land, but I have a timeshare there so it's OK for me to celebrate.
Months ago, this daily habit was something that I was latching on to just to get through the days/weeks/months of the pandemic that had just smashed themselves into an indistinguishable mass, like a loaf of sliced bread dropped in the sink. Having something that needed to be done Daily kept the world—the small world, the local world, the one inside my head—in order. Now I accept the daily as useful that gets done in order to keep the streak alive—something I neither look forward to nor think about, something I just know I need to do before I go to bed. It's in a gray area between the habit serving me and me serving the habit, but it doesn't take much time, and the payoff is good for the effort, so it seems like a no-brainer.
Habits are compound interest. Put something in, keep putting something in, take more out later. The opposite is true as well, but the debt accumulates, and the collector comes some day, ready or not.
There are a million forms of this advice—and none of them good—but: choose your habits well. Get something out of them for yourself. Get something out of them for someone else. Avoid the ones that rack up debts—debts in dollars, debts in liver cells, whatever. There's no sense getting to the end of the world—the one in your head—with a pristine machine, but there's even less sense dulling the blade if you want to make something with it.