What Happens When You Miss a Day of Your Habit?

Most of us have experienced this scenario in the past. You’re trying to develop a new habit. Something that can improve your life, but it’s difficult. You start strong, and you do it every day. After a while, you suddenly miss one day. You feel that your progress is gone and give up. But what actually happens when you miss a day of your habit?

Let’s have a look at what happens when you miss a day of your habit and what you can do to proceed when it happens.

A sum up of a post that describes what happens when you miss a day of your habit
What happens when you miss a day of your habit?

What happens if you miss a day of your habit?

It’s a common misconception that missing one day of your habit means that you have to start over. Luckily that isn’t true. Here’s why.

A habit is a behavior that has gone through the habit loop so often that it’s become automatic. Frequency play’s role, but more important is the total number of times you’ve done the behavior. Whether you do it every day, or 5 times a week, doesn’t matter much here. Missing one day of your habit won’t affect the long-term results. Consistency will.

While the missed day won’t affect habit formation, it might harm your mental state. It can destroy your motivation, confidence, and willpower If you let the missed day become a big defeat.

Remember, it’s completely normal to miss a day of your habit. Maybe you’re sick, burned out, or something else. If you don’t let the off day seem like a failure, and continues the next day, it won’t hurt your progress.

Related: Common habit myths

What to do when you’ve missed one day of your habit

Everybody misses a day from time to time. One occasional off day won’t hurt your process, but if you let it spiral out of control, it will. Here are 4 things you can do next time you miss a day of your habit to stay in control.

Related: How to improve consistency with the 5-minute rule

Never let yourself miss two days in a row

After one missed day, it might be tempting to take another one. Don’t fall into this trap. The more consecutive days you miss, the harder it’ll be to get back to building your habit.

Always remember the 2-day rule – Never miss 2 days in a row.

Related: How to increase productivity and accountability with a journal

Figure out what went wrong – And how you can avoid that in the future

It’s often tempting to hide and forget when something didn’t go according to plan. But hiding is rarely a good option, and it’ll only make things more difficult moving forward.

Instead, you can begin to analyze what went wrong. Ask yourself why you missed a day of your habit. What happened? What did you do instead? When you know why you failed, you can begin to make a plan for how to avoid it in the future.

You can use a journal for this exercise. This way, you can go back and learn from previous failures or enjoy the progress you’re making.

Accept it and move on

Sometimes there’s nothing you could or should have done differently. There’s nothing to change, and you get back at it the following day. In this case, the best thing to do is to accept it and move on.

This isn’t hiding from guilt or shame. It’s a genuine feeling of acceptance. It isn’t hiding because there’s nothing to hide from. Sometimes, there’s nothing you can do about it. The best option here is to accept it and move on.

Be patient with yourself

Be patient. Changing habits often takes much longer than we expect when starting. There’ll be ups and downs, and progress might be so slow that it seems non-existent.

Don’t be discouraged by this. Be patient and keep going.

Related: How many small wins create big achievements

Finishing thoughts

Everybody misses a day from time to time. Missing a day won’t impact your progress, but how you react might.

When you’ve missed a day, remember the 2-day rule, figure out what went wrong, accept it, and be patient yourself. If you do this, the day you missed your habit won’t harm your progress.

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