August 31st, 2018


If doing something once a day is hard ...

... do it twice a day.

That seems to work for me, at least. It's a little bit counter-intuitive. If I challenge myself to do something every day (say, exercise), it's easier to keep up the momentum if I do it morning and evening.

A couple of weeks ago I decided to commit to doing two sets of 20x pushups - morning and evening - and I find I'm much more motivated to stick with it. Now I think if I skipped a set I'd feel like the day was missing something. It feels like a ritual rather than a chore. The trick to committing to something is, there's an optimal range. Too hard and of course you'll get tired of it and you'll stop doing it. But also if it's too easy you can lose interest in it, because you will esteem it lightly. That's why Avot says "be as careful with an easy mitzvah as with a difficult one" rather than the other way around. If it's a self-imposed challenge, the reward is in proportion to the effort ("according to the labor is the reward", Avot again) and therefore a small effort gives a small reward. So basically it's an optimization problem.