You Don’t Have To [Insert Good Habit] Every Day

But you need to know the right moment to stop.

Sílvia Bastos
2 min readNov 9, 2020


For the past two days I haven’t been feeling my best.

There have been some struggles and disappointments at work and I felt mentally exhausted. My brain couldn’t think or create anything anymore. I didn’t feel like doing anything at all.

So I allowed myself to do just that.

I allowed myself to sleep for as long as I wanted (which ended up being 10 to 12 hours each night). I allowed myself to skip meditation and yoga (which I had been doing for who knows how long) and I had a coffee (which I had promised myself not to do until the end of the year).

And you know what? It felt amazing. It felt healing. It felt right.

And today I woke up again at 5h30 feeling super energized and motivated for the day ahead.

I still struggle to let go of my expectations sometimes. “I can’t skip meditation”. “I can’t skip writing”. “I can’t have coffee”.

I know the value of commitment — it allows me to finish what I started, be consistent, and it keeps me from tricking myself into falling from addictive temptations.

But after you’ve succeeded at being consistent — and I have—and then quit, and then started again and then quit again and repeated the cycle countless times, you start gaining a new kind of intuition and a sense of trust in yourself to make the right decisions.

Now, I am much better at differentiating between a genuine need to rest and just making excuses. And because of that, I can trust myself to get back to full speed whenever I’m ready.

This time it was two days. Next time it might be weeks, or months. I’m sure I will still fall for my own excuses in the future, but that’s not the point: the point is that I am building this inner compass, and the only way to build it is through practice and repetition. It’s by trying and failing and staying at it; it’s by experimenting with different degrees of perseverance and self-forgiveness, of pushing forward and letting go, and finding the balance.

And then gradually you start seeing the beautiful relationship between persisting and being gentle with yourself, and you start knowing when to pull the breaks without getting completely sidetracked, knowing you’ll want to get back on the road whenever the time is right.



Sílvia Bastos

Habit Coach. Self-Experimenter. Find your ideal Keystone Habit here: