What better day to write about this than on Friday the 13th itself! About 2 weeks ago I wrote about Mini Habits, a book by Stephen Guise on setting achievable goals and creating habits. Setting goals so small that you can’t possibly fail them, so small that you’d actually laugh at yourself for setting them.

In addition to the initial goals, I added one more, which was to do a plank daily for 60 seconds (or 1 minute if that makes it look easier). It was to be a cue-based habit, something I will do once I wake up or just before I sleep. Is 1 minute a big deal? Not really. But doing it everyday requires discipline.

I decided to also keep improving upon that goal. By the way, this is something that Stephen Guise does not encourage in his book as it will make the small goal increasingly difficult. Nonetheless, I wanted to see if it was possible to improve my plank timing daily, so I decided to +10s on a daily basis. I also took into account that there will be days when I will definitely plank for a shorter timing than the previous days, so the +10s should always apply to the maximum time I have planked till date. The minimum time remains at 60 seconds, and I always aim to hold as long as I can, even if I have already met my goal.

For example, if I did 60 seconds on day 1, my goal for day 2 will be 70 seconds. If I then do 80 seconds on day 2, my goal for day 3 will be 90 seconds. However, if I only managed 60 seconds on day 3, my goal for day 4 will still be 90 seconds.

To make things easier, I turned to Excel to chart out this progress:

Excel Data

Every cell in Column B uses this formula:


As you can see, I had a 4-day break, which I am not proud of. I was exercising on each of those days though, but that is not an excuse to skip 60 seconds of plank. On a more positive note, I managed 130 seconds yesterday! If there was someone pushing me I wouldn’t have been as proud of it (I think I have done 3 minutes before during training). The key difference here is self-discipline.

Below is a chart of the progress till date:

Excel Chart

To make things easier, I have the file on Dropbox, and edit it directly using Excel on my smartphone.

I am interested to see what the chart will look like on the 1st of March, and will probably post another update then.

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