Today I hit a two-year daily meditation streak.
It’s both an achievement but not-an-achievement. Meditation was a habit I wanted to cultivate, and this proves that I have fulfilled it. But now it’s just a habit. I don’t celebrate, nor should I, that I’ve brushed my teeth every day for years now - I don’t even keep track of that… I just do it because it’s vital for the health of my teeth and gums.
Most of our habits are the same, good or bad. To be a habit they have to be a default action, it’s why most bad habits exist - because it’s the easiest thing to do or not do. That’s why, when we’re working to build a good practice, like meditation, it’s helpful to have some kind of external thing to keep us on track and motivated to take the right action. Gamification of these streak targets provides that as well as taking advantage of our human psychology of small rewards.
But now what? I’m two years into a streak. Do I keep it and keep monitoring and watching it? What happens if I break it, even accidentally? Maybe I should break it on purpose? I don’t think I need it, it’s an ingrained habit that is a stable part of my morning routine. But it would be easy to get upset and throw the habit away because the streak is lost. I would like to think that my stoic training and meditation practice do indeed help me manage and overcome those thoughts and emotions to let me get back to it the following day.