Streaks Aren’t Just For Snap Chat
Setting goals is one thing, but making a plan to follow through is next level. This is what makes a streak so exceptional. A streak can be partnered with a New Year’s resolution or a word of the year, and make either one more powerful. If you join together in your streak with friends – even better! A streak can be an opportunity to learn, to grow, to build confidence, and to connect with others.
A teenager who used to work at the movie theatre decided a few years ago that he needed to go on a water streak. Employees at the cinema had easy access to fountain pop and drank a lot of it. I remember this young man telling me about only drinking water for 30 days straight. He sadly admitted, “All that pop and juice can’t be good for my skin or teeth.”
A young woman I know did a 30-day streak of collecting ALL her garbage to understand her waste footprint. She accumulated packaging from fast food, sales tags from clothing she bought, and even tampon applicators. Now she thinks twice before taking free mints at restaurants because of the single-use plastic they are wrapped in.
Fitness streaks are of course the most common kind. The 30-Day Ab Challenge is a popular one (I’ve done it) and there’s the 30-Day Squat Challenge too (ditto). A swim coach in Sweden I follow on Instagram is doing a swimming streak and today was his 115th day in a row!
For the committed, I recommend a substance-free streak. Are you sure you aren’t addicted? Want to prove it to yourself? Try a No Vape Streak! I know some teenagers and adults who have done Sober October the last few years and report it was eye-opening.
Supporting teen streaks
If your teen wants to streak in 2020 remember they are taking on a project. You may have judgments about the challenge they have chosen, but keep those between you, your journal, and your trusted friend. You might prefer if your kid chose a put-shoes-away streak or a no-phone-zone experiment. But this isn’t about you.
Demonstrating curiosity by asking questions and fully listening to your teen’s replies is the way to be a caring parent. Your advice or opinions won’t be as useful as a true show of interest. Questions like, “how is the streak going? What are you noticing? Any big surprises so far?” might get your teen reflecting on and sharing about their experience. Verbally acknowledging their commitment and will-power will also go over well.
Streaks for parents of teenagers
Parenting by example is the way of wise moms and dads. Teenagers hate being lectured to and are ready to test out their thinking in the world, so our best chance of guiding children at this age is to be the kind of adult we want them to grow into.
If I want my kid to be open-minded, to try new things, and to listen to their own impulses instead of following the crowd, then it’s my responsibility to live this way as a grown-up. Can you think of a streak to try that would challenge you to walk your talk?
Another idea is to choose a streak that could support your parenting and/or shift your perspective on having a teenager. You could make a daily list for the whole month of special moments with your teen or the funny and poignant things they say or the reasons you feel grateful for them.
A more advanced option would be to take on a streak that your teenager has “suggested”. Maybe at some point, your son or daughter has told you to lighten up or said you complain too much. Are you up for a dance-every-day streak to bring out your playful side? I have a friend who did a 365-day dance streak! Are you courageous enough to entertain a no-complaining streak? It could change your whole outlook.
The word I have chosen for 2020 is ‘imagine’ and I will be doing a January streak of creative visualization for 10 minutes per day. I hope you get your streak on too!