The Importance of Non-Zero Days

I stumbled upon something interesting today, I was linked to a post on Reddit written by a user named ryans01. He commented on a post, and gave advice to a guy about discipline.

Most comments from people on the internet are pretty generic and simple. This one was completely different. 

In his comment he gave a list of rules to live by, and rule number 1 was Non-Zero Days. 

“There are no more zero days. What’s a zero day? A zero day is when you don’t do a single fucking thing towards whatever dream or goal or want or whatever that you got going on. No more zeros. I’m not saying you gotta bust an essay out everyday, that’s not the point. The point I’m trying to make is that you have to make yourself, promise yourself, that the new SYSTEM you live in is a NON-ZERO system. Didnt’ do anything all fucking day and it’s 11:58 PM? Write one sentence. One pushup. Read one page of that chapter. One. Because one is non zero. You feel me? When you’re in the super vortex of being bummed, your pattern of behaviour is keeping the vortex goin, that’s what you’re used to. Turning into productivity ultimate master of the universe doesn’t happen from the vortex. It happens from a massive string of CONSISTENT NON ZEROS. That’s rule number one. Do not forget.”

His post got reddit gold 51 times, and they even started a subreddit based on it called

Now, I’m not going to take credit for this guys post, but I had this mentality before I had ever read it.

This anonymous stranger put something into words that I never was able to. Before I just called it being productive.

But no, it is now called a Non-Zero Day. (plus it just sounds better)

Non-Zero Days are very important.

We all have days where all we want to do is sit around and watch Netflix, or lay in bed all day. It is really easy to distract yourself with things that don’t really matter like Video Games.

A Non-Zero Day is when you do at least one productive thing towards your goal.

Because one thing accomplished is better than zero. 

If you want to lose some body fat, going for a 10 minute walk is better than doing nothing.

If you want to get some work done, writing a few sentences is a great start.

If you want to start a business, go read some articles on entrepreneurs.

If you want to get out of the house, step outside. 

What helped me was writing down what I did everyday. 

I write down what I weigh every morning, how much cardio I did, the supplements I took, the amount of calories I ate, what I did at the gym, etc. 

This helped me not only stay accountable for my goals, but it gave me the joy of being able to see progress right in front of me. 

Seeing my bodyweight go down over the course of months gave me great motivation, because I knew I was closer to my dream physique.

Many people think you just need to be motivated to reach your goals

I think it’s more about setting a daily routine that leads you towards success. 

Whatever your goal is, apply this idea of having Non-Zero Days everyday, and you will be immensely satisfied. 

If you would like to read his full post, I believe he has a few more rules to live by. Read it here.


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  1. Cool post Ryan, I didn’t know you went on reddit. I have to start being more productive too, I’m probably going to start writing things down too, maybe I’ll keep a log for my nutrition.

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