Last week, I posted the quiz, Are you an abstainer or a moderator?
Another point I discovered about the abstainer/moderator split—I find it’s easier to do something every day than to do it some days. 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?”
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 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.
Funny 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.
Gretchen Rubin is the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller The Happiness Project—an account of the year she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific studies, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier—and the recently released Happier at Home. On her popular blog, The Happiness Project, she reports on her daily adventures in the pursuit of happiness. For more doses of happiness and other happenings, follow Gretchen on Facebook and Twitter.
*Photo by RandyA38.
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November 12, 2012