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Streaks, Obsessions, Big Round Numbers, and Magical Thinking

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Streaks, Obsessions, Big Round Numbers, and Magical Thinking

I've read blogs and status reports from SparkFriends who've been frustrated over breaking a login streak. Things just happen: computer failure, power outages, unexpected company, trips, illnesses, family emergencies, mental lapses, etc. They happen to all of us now and then. The system here is unforgiving. Miss a day and break the streak. I know people have felt real pain and loss over losing a streak. I cringe when I hear that a friend is willing to quit it all because a streak is broken.

These SparkPeople login streaks don't really demonstrate any particular commitment to health and wellness. For me, it just means I've got a habit of Sparking every day and I've managed to remember to spin the wheel. Even when my home internet service was out for a couple of weeks, I managed to login from work or use my smartphone (a luxury not available to everyone). It's the habits behind the streaks that really matter. Making healthy choices every day. Keeping fit. Staying positive.

I've been careful to maintain my Spark habits because they tend to keep me focused. This streak is just evidence of persistence and a little luck. If the streak were broken, I'd just start again. It's cool to see a big round number, but it's just a symbol. I've got to be careful that the symbol doesn't mean more than the actual healthy habits. Doing the right things and logging them on SparkPeople.com are two different things. The website only measures what I log -- whether I do the right things or not. Some actions only "count" if we do them within a 24-hour period. It's important to me not to get obsessed in the logging, but rather just keep focused on healthy habits. Logging just happens to be convenient for me now.

There's nothing really magical about a day. A daily streak is nice, but is 999 days out of 1000 so much different? Is my login streak so much better today than it was yesterday? Big round numbers are cool, aren't they? But what's really cool is that we're all here focused on healthy habits. We're doing what we can in the midst of real life. There are so many people here who inspire me. I'm blessed to have the opportunity to visit here each day and learn from you all. Thank you, SparkFriends, for giving me so much. You are the magic of SparkPeople, not the streaks or the trophies. I love checking into SparkPeople each day and while I'm here, I'll make it a point to spin that wheel....
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD17102076
    1559 days ago
  • GRACED777
    I break streaks quite often. Being almost compulsive, I find it's better that way for me. That's how I end up focusing more on the habits themselves.
    1682 days ago
    YOU are the inspiring one!
    1792 days ago
    Streaks are like playing monopoly, it's fun to see big #'s but what yhe heck we can start all over again if we miss a day. I was on a roll when I exercised steadily for 5 days a week then I got a terrib 'll e cold and missed the gym for a week and broke my streak. It'll be ok I'm just starting again. I'll survive emoticon
    1878 days ago
    Yes, "You are the magic of SparkPeople, not the streaks or the trophies."

    1968 days ago
    I've been upset when I break a streak. That usually happens every month when I'm away and trying to get the little box on the start page to load that lets me enter how many fruits/veggies, how much sleep, and my mood.The chart shows on my laptop but the little button to move to the number is missing. Maybe a weak ISP at the hotel? I can get around the water part since I can load that on the nutrition logger.
    You are right, that it is about being consistently healthy more than it is about streaks.
    1970 days ago
    Great blog! Brilliant attitude!

    Gives me something to aspire to!!

    XOXO my friend...
    2120 days ago
    Of course you are right!
    2127 days ago
  • EILEEN828
    I agree with you that it is not the most important thing. Sure its fun, but does that spin actually do any thing for you? You, yourself, putting a focus on your health is what is actively doing something. That's what counts, that's what's real! Always needing to be the top of the heap is an exercise in frustration, no one can maintain it for long. It's a negative message if it supersedes it's importance, to be a reminder.
    2128 days ago
    From one magician to another: have a weekend to top all weekends! You are the best!!!!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2138 days ago
    So true! Great blog, Aurlie. You inspire all of us. Have a wonderful weekend. emoticon
    2138 days ago
    That is SO true..& I agree with Reddmarie7's comment about the scale too...weird how we just get STARSTRUCK by symbols!!!

    Love your spirit, keep up the healthy habits!!!

    Sandi emoticon
    2138 days ago
    That is an amazing streak! But your attitude is even more amazing! Congratulations!!
    2139 days ago
    You're so right! Keep on rolling, girl! Hugs!
    2139 days ago
    You are so right about that. I was so bummed over breaking a something like 1500 days of logging in. Maybe it was good that I broke it one day so it won't bother me so much if it happens again.

    Thanks so much for bringing it out in the open. By the way I love your page. It is so pretty, Aurlie. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2139 days ago
    Way to go Aurlie!! What an incredible streak! You are an inspiration to me. Thanks for blogging today emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2139 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13562405
    Good Golly Miss Molly.....Aurlie, this is simply incredible. It is so true ....the important things that really matter are not the points or the streaks....it is the changes we consistently make in our lifestyle....healthy choices. One Day at a Time.

    Blessings! emoticon
    2140 days ago
    Excellent points, my friend!
    I stopped paying attention to streaks, and even joining challenges, when it was counterproductive to me working on my goals.
    2140 days ago
    You hit the nail on the head spark friend! Streaks and spark points are so much fun but its the healthy habits we practice everyday. I have broke my streak so many times, if I ever get to 1000 it will be amazing LOL. But i make the choice for fitness everyday regardless to whether i Spark or not.
    Congrats on 1000 days! Im like you. I am here to learn from others and myself. Spark on my friend!
    2140 days ago
  • BOPPY_
    Perspective!: Thanks for it!

    If only SP programmers and management were listening!

    Lee emoticon
    2140 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    2140 days ago
  • -WISPY-
    Way to go my friend. I have not done streaks for several years, but for some reason one has strated up. I am getting things from Spark telling me I have now done 14 days - I did not start it - at least I dont remember doing it. LOL.

    2140 days ago
    I love this blog!!!

    "It's important to me not to get obsessed in the logging, but rather just keep focused on healthy habits."

    So true! I used to get upset when something came up and I broke my streak of logging into SP. But this time around I've realized that even though I've started over on my login streak, my health streak is continuing!

    Thanks for the reminder and the great words of wisdom!!!
    emoticon emoticon

    2140 days ago
    You are SO wise & helpful! Yes! It has happened to all of us, at one time or another! When I check my 'spark streaks' I can see the date that ALL of my streak were broken, because of computer glitch. I TRY very hard NOT to get upset, but just keep going on, to my health! Whether it is a streak, or scale, or extreme stress or ???? I remember when the first streak was broken, I DID almost give up, too! But I put my big girl panties on & made a list of all the great things that transpired, up to that moment with Spark. & Have stuck with it & am SO much healthier for just doing it!

    GREAT blog! Thanks for sharing!!!!!

    *~LIGHT emoticon
    2140 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/12/2015 2:25:30 PM
    Woohoo Aurlie! I still think this streak is way cool! I have forgotten a couple of times to spin but I think I have the habit now... :) Well here is hoping anyway!

    You inspire me! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2140 days ago
    I couldn't agree more! Well said, Aurlie. Thank you for blogging! Your words always inspire me!!!
    2140 days ago
    I like your outlook! I feel that way about the scales. I can weight 5 lbs more sometimes at night or in one day it seems...but I keep working 'the plan'. ...because bodies fluctuate....after reading this,,,what went through my head was ......'just the facts, ma'am'....let us stick with the truth! The Facts!! Thank you:)
    2140 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.