You ever feel like you’re doing everything wrong? Like, no matter what you do, it just doesn’t come out the way it’s supposed to? That’s alright – we all have bad days now and then. But what about when you do everything right and it still doesn’t work? That’s what my wife and I call “a 1.9 day”.
The term comes from a thing we noticed kept happening when we were out running. We would be jogging along our normal route, feeling good and fast, and like we were nearly done (our daily goal was 5k), then we’d check our fitness trackers:
Every, single, time. It kept happening so many times, always 1.9, so we had to give it a name. A 1.9 day. A day you thought you were running fast, but when you stopped to check it seemed like you’d never reach your goal.
And this of course translates to other aspects of life, we noticed. Word counts, for example. I’d sit there thinking it’d written thousands upon thousands of words, only to glance at the counter: “534”.
It’s discouraging. Almost more so than having a straight up bad day when you’re sick or feel exhausted, because a 1.9 day feels like it’s going great until you realize that it doesn’t. And since you think it’s going great, it’s not obvious what you’re doing wrong.
I’ve thought about it a lot. Why did it feel like I was running fast and far, when it always seemed to be just 1.9 kilometers? Why does 500 words feel like a couple of thousand at times?
I think the answer is two-sided. First of all, it has to do with expectations. Just because you’ve started, and it feels great, doesn’t mean that you’ve reached your goal yet. Being on a roll doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll get to the end faster, just that you’ll get there without as much trouble as usual. You still have to do all the work.
Second, it has to do with goals. Of course writing 500 great words won’t seem so amazing if I feel like it should have been 2000. That doesn’t mean that those first 500 aren’t fantastic though. And even if I wrote another 1500, that still doesn’t mean that those first 500 aren’t the best ones I wrote that day.
I’ve come to recognize a 1.9 day as the strange hybrid cousin of a good and bad day. It’s a good day if I realize I’m on a roll and just stick with it; but it can easily turn sour if I think too much about it and get hung up on numbers.
Maybe that’s the lesson here. Don’t think too much about it.
What do you think? Ever had a 1.9 day or am I talking crazy here? Let me know in the comments!
And as always, I’d love it if you would check out my books!