Taking a 1,000 day vow
That may sound intimidating, but before you put the idea aside, I do talk about taking a 100 day vow later in the book as a variation. A 100 day vow is, mathematically, 10 times easier than a 1,000 day vow, so breathe easy.
A sensible first question when you meet the idea of a 1,000 day vow is; why would you want to take a 1,000 day vow? For that matter, why take a vow at all?
It’s a pretty common idea these days that setting goals for yourself is a good idea. I am not going to deny that. However, one of the troubles with goals is that they are, necessarily, set in the future. The trouble with the future is that we never know what it’s going to be like. We can’t know what tomorrow will bring until we get there.
Taking a vow is different, even though a vow may have an end point in mind (like 1,000 days), the activity of the vow always takes place now.
It’s true that the actions that one takes to get to a goal also happen now, but there is always the subtle pull to look to the future to see how much closer you have gotten to the goal. With a vow that pull is lacking.
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Taking a vow to do something for a set number of days (whether the schedule is to do the thing every day, or every other day, or some other variation) draws a line in the sand. It is not possible to do more one day and less another. You cannot trade credits of activity with yourself. Instead you face the day in itself, do what you said you would, and then go on to the next day.
There are numerous benefits that come from doing such a thing. We will talk about some of them later.
For now I want to point out one very particular benefit: Taking a 1,000 day vow cuts out a lot of the games we play with ourselves when we are pursuing a stated goal.
After the initial negotiation of deciding what you will vow, for how long, and what the schedule will look like, you are done. There is no further negotiation to take place.
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While you are going through the vow, the ordinary compromise we allow for ourselves is largely negated.