To my surprise, I’ve noticed that when I’m trying to form a habit or stick to a resolution, it’s often easier for me to do it every day than to do it some days. I post to my blog six days a week. I write in my one-sentence journal every day. When working on my book, I wrote something every day, even on the weekends. Many people have told me that they find it easier to exercise when they exercise every day.
If I try to do something three or four days a week, I spend a lot of time arguing with myself about whether today is the day, or tomorrow, or the next day; did the week start on Sunday or Monday; etc.
If I do something every day, I tend to fall into a routine. Now, routine has a bad reputation. It’s very true that novelty and challenge bring happiness, and that people who break their routines, try new things, and go new places are happier — but I think that some routine activities also bring happiness.
The pleasure of doing the same thing, in the same way, every day, shouldn’t be overlooked. The things we do every day take on a certain beauty, and provide a kind of invisible architecture to daily life.
Funnily enough, two geniuses whom I associate with the idea of the unconventional wrote about the power of doing something every day. Andy Warhol wrote, “Either once only, or every day. If you do something once it’s exciting, and if you do it every day it’s exciting. But if you do it, say, twice or just almost every day, it’s not good any more.” Gertrude Stein made a related point: “Anything one does every day is important and imposing and anywhere one lives is interesting and beautiful.”
The days are long, but the years are short.