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The Benefit of Doing Some Things Every Day, Without Exception

The Benefit of Doing Some Things Every Day, Without ExceptionA few days ago, I posted the quiz, Are you an abstainer or a moderator?

As one reader pointed out in the comments, the abstainer/moderator split seems related to another tendency, at least in me — that I find it’s easier to do something every day than to do it some days.

For instance, I post to my blog six days a week. I take reading notes every day. I write in my one-sentence journal every day. Many people have told me that they find it easier to exercise when they exercise every day.

If I try to do something 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; do I deserve a break, did yesterday “count,” etc.

True, if you do something every day, you tend to fall into a routine, and routine has a bad reputation. 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 routine activities also bring happiness. The pleasure of doing the same thing, in the same way, every day, shouldn’t be overlooked.

The things you 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.

So if there’s something that you wish you did more regularly, try doing it every day; if you do something every day, revel in it.

 

Quarterly is fun — “a subscription service for wonderful things.” You can sign up to get surprise packages from various people, including me. Nothing’s more fun than getting a surprise in the mail.

I’m thrilled that I was chosen to be one of only 150 people who can post original content on LinkedIn. Follow me here.

The Benefit of Doing Some Things Every Day, Without Exception


Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin is the award-winning author of The Happiness Project, a #1 New York Times bestseller. You can also watch the one-minute book video. She is a regular contributor to Psych Central.


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APA Reference
Rubin, G. (2018). The Benefit of Doing Some Things Every Day, Without Exception. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 22, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/the-benefit-of-doing-some-things-every-day-without-exception/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.