Start a Small Streak

From your first Fast Break to quick and easy exercise ideas, the SparkPeople program relies heavily on the power of consistency. More than anything else, it emphasizes the idea of creating (or breaking) new habits through small actions over time.

Consistency can be helpful, but it can also be motivating. When it takes the form of a streak, consistency is an underrated way to get your blood pumping again. Keeping a streak alive, even for a short time, is an instant power boost. It breeds confidence, builds momentum and puts you on the winning side again if you’re starting to feel yourself slide.

Some people gravitate toward streaks. They get a rush out of seeing how long they can go without drinking soda and a sense of accomplishment from exercising for 60 days in a row. These people do well with daily streaks.

Other people are a little more wary of streaks. The idea of doing something every day can be intimidating and stressful to some. That’s okay. We’ve found that these people can still benefit by trying a weekly streak, as in “I will walk 3 times a week every week for 20 weeks.”

If you’re feeling a little unmotivated, or you want to give your program a jumpstart, or if you just want to set a challenge for yourself, choose a small streak today and add it to your program. The more consistent you can be, the more results you'll see!

Some pointers on starting your own streak:
  • Set a goal for your streak. A specific number is more clear and often more motivating than leaving it open-ended.
  • If you break your streak, don’t get discouraged. Just try to outdo yourself next time. Streaks aren’t about perfection. They’re about doing better.
  • Remember to reward yourself along the way as you reach streak milestones, and especially when you reach your goal or personal best streak.
  • Streak in public. Just by telling others what your streak is, you create some positive peer pressure to follow through. Plus it gives others the opportunity to help.
  • Start off with something you know you can succeed with, but don’t already do regularly. Think of a small habit you’d like to make or break.
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Member Comments

Great article Report
I just came off a streak of not having French fries, chips or anything potato related of 75 days!!!! Report
My streak is to exercise 10 minutes every day and/or walk at least 200 Steps per hour during day. Report
Consistency leaves a mark on all aspects of life. Report
My streak has been 2 months drinking 8 glasses of water, exercising 10 minutes or more every day. I lost 6 pounds in a month, improved immensely in physical therapy so, I am getting stronger. I hate my stomach more than anything, I am starting a thirty day ab challenge today. Report
Streaks are very important to improve myself. Report
Hard to pick my favorite, but have to go with the "dog ate my homework!" Report
Totally love this slide show. I've had some trouble motivating myself off the couch. Getting my current job and loosing 18 pounds in the process has motivated me off the couch. :) Report
Before coming to SP had not heard of this streak thing, but I guess I had already done it. I had trouble with terrible hot flashes. I read that the aspartame and carbonation in dičt soda could contribute to flashes. I was willing to try anything! I quit drinking soda last September. NO MORE HOT FLASHES! I don't know if it will work for anyone else, but it did for me. Report
My first streak is to exercise for at least 10 minutes each day as that is where I am really lacking. I hope this works! Report
I don't get what a 'streak' is, or what it's for. It's just counting the days that you have done something, or not done it?
I do say at times 'I will try this or that for one month' or for 'x weeks'. To learn something new and to experience what it's like. But a streak seems to be about something that you REALLY want to do for good? In that case is it wise to count the days? Doesn't that PREVENT it from becoming a natural, ingrained habit? Report
Only on SP a couple of months, streaking doesn't hold much appeal to me, but I appreciate the article's suggestion of small streaks, not daily but x-number of times a week. That's a better approach for my needs. I have severe arthrtitis (among other things), and commiting to daily streaks is beyond my ability and I struggle to define "overdoing it" for myself. I still don't get streaking in public; I am a private person despite blabbing in comments, lol. I am glad SP seems to welcome whavever works for different folks, and provides a great variety of articles and so on to suit a great variety of individuals. Report
I just love this article - it was really the beginning of losing 36 pounds for me when I first joined Sparkpeople 6 yrs ago! I recently started a new Spark Team based on this concept called the Streak to Success Challenge. Check it out, and if streaking motivates you, I hope you'll join in! It works! Report
Watch out... i'm about to streak in public. I am going to commit to recording my food daily.

I like the idea of a streak. It will be fun to see how long I can keep it up. And I like the idea that if I slip I can still challenge (rather than berate) myself to do better. Report
THis came at a good time for me, as I recently suffered the sudden tragic loss of my dear husband and father of our 2 little girls, ages 5 and 8. As we struggle to adjust, heal, and form a new "normal" my eating habits have been challenged so much; Since starting on SP last April, I lost 28 pounds, and began running, competed in a duathlon with my husband and daughter 4 days before he died. It was a stellar and beautiful day for our little family, and is a great memory. I know he would want us to keep running. But I could use your prayers and thoughts for consistency and practicality. I take the girls to the gym with me as often as possible, but I have definitely lost some ground and am getting frustrated. I would like to get a treadmill for home but don't think I can afford it at this time. Thank you to all, and keep up the great work SparkPeople; you are all wonderful. xo Report


About The Author

Mike Kramer
Mike Kramer
As a writer and artist, Mike has witnessed countless motivational stories and techniques. See all of Mike's articles.
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