A tool that has helped me develop my new habit of writing daily posts was created by comedian Jerry Seinfeld to help him write new material every day. He used a large year-at-a-glance calendar, and for every day that he wrote new material, he got to derive pleasure from drawing a big red “X” through that day. If he didn’t write, he didn’t get to draw the big red “X” through that day. Seinfeld found that drawing the Xs was fun and rewarding, so he kept doing it. Before long, he created a chain of red Xs. The idea is to never break the chain by not writing!
I wanted to start my chain as soon as I learned of the idea from my brother, David. I immediately printed out my own calendar and marked big red “Xs” through all the days I had already written posts for this blog.
Don’t break the chain. In my case, the only way to not break the chain is by writing and posting something to this blog every single day. The thought of breaking the chain always motivates me to write and post something, especially on those days that I don’t feel like writing. As of today, I’m proud to say that my chain now has 100 Xs, which you can see in the photo!
This tool is very powerful for driving change, and can be used for any new habit you want to create. Maybe you want to exercise daily. Maybe you want to quit smoking. Maybe you want to eat more veggies. Maybe you want to stop eating junk food. Maybe you want to read daily. Maybe you want to journal daily. Maybe you want to meditate daily. Maybe you want to write material for a book daily. It could be anything! Whatever it is, every day that you do the thing that you want to do, or eliminate the thing that you don’t want to do, you get to draw a big red “X” over that day.
An even bigger reward than getting to draw the big red “X” on your calendar every day and creating a long chain is getting the benefit of the new habit! If you’re exercising, adding healthy food, and/or eliminating junk food every day, you will lose weight. If you’re writing every day, eventually you will have a large body of work. If you’re reading daily, eventually you will have read several books. Whatever it is that you are doing, as long as you are doing it daily, you will make real progress toward achieving your goal!
Try it. And remember, don’t break the chain!