Knitsteel suggested that the “Don’t Break the Chain” widget could be stressful.

Nope. You know I’m very goal-oriented. Keeping track of how I’m doing on my goals is not only not stressful, it’s downright natural. But it happens that I was just thinking about that widget in a desultory way as I did mindless stuff at the store yesterday. That one is for the goal of daily exercise, a goal which I had last year, too, but didn’t meet. I figured the calendar would be encouraging for me.

But I have heard that working out seven days a week is no better than six, so I don’t mind if there ends up being one day a week when I don’t get to work out. And so far there has been, in both weeks that I’ve had that up. I have days that are just too busy, or I have guests or something. So I was thinking of the fact that, if I always end up with a day off each week, the little encouraging thing will never say more than, “I’ve been getting things done for six days straight!”

And I was thinking that going from six to one every week is not a big deal, but if you had “I’ve been getting things done for 457 days straight!” and had to go back to one, it could be traumatic.

And that made me think about the difference between things I do every day, and things I do most days.  For me, there seems to be a big difference.

I brush my teeth every day, I read before I sleep every night, I cook meals for my family every day (don’t laugh — there are people who don’t).

But the things that I usually do, even when they are things that I think I should do every day… Well, I know I don’t do them every day, but I don’t actually know how often I let them slide. I know that I intend to get dressed like a grown up every day (that was a goal from last year, and I do fairly well on that, I think…), and do laundry, and do the homework from my Tuesday class, and make my three business calls, and eat plenty of vegetables, and make some progress on my fiber projects and do housework and follow a proper skin care regimen and —

But you know, I don’t always do all those things. And that is where the difference lies, for me, between things I do every day and things I usually do. Every day, there is an element of decision involved in the things I usually do. I feel that I have the option. I think about whether to have oatmeal for breakfast or, hmmm, maybe French toast would be better. And, when I felt as though exercise was something I did most days and I had a sort of “at least three days a week” in my mind about it, three days was about it.

The things I do every day are automatic. It doesn’t worry me if I don’t do them one day, or make me feel discouraged, but really I just do them. So the “Don’t Break the Chain” widget is helping me to make working out something I do every day, not something I usually do.