“If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney, Animation Entrepreneur
When you read the stories of famous people, have you noticed how many of them had routines to yield better results?
Some actors go undercover to experience the real and often dangerous roles they are about to portray. World-class athletes have their very tough and specific training and nutrition programs. One routine that helps me get my upcoming book finished is the “Don’t Break the Chain” method often attributed to Comedian Jerry Seinfeld. It’s simple and costs very little time or money. It helped him build up his new material. Over the years he moved from struggling stand-up comedian to co-creator and star of long-running, blockbuster comedy series to the fun guy who has a web series where he drives his amazing classic cars drinking coffee with other cool, successful people. **Note: Even if you use this technique, your results may be different from Mr. Seinfeld. Especially if you aren’t funny or don’t drink coffee.**
Here’s how the “Don’t Break the Chain” method works:
- Put up a wall calendar somewhere you will see it every day
- Declare what action you will take each day (for example, I used “Write for book for 20 minutes”)
- Each day where you complete your required action put a big X on the calendar (The Seinfeld way is a red X, I had a purple marker, so that’s what I used)
- Now once you start, don’t break the chain of X’s on your calendar. Plan it into each day, make it a priority on your daily to-do list. I found that it was a great thing for me to do right after my morning meditation and before my day got crazy.
- In case you do break the chain, jump over that gap and keep going!!
- Once you fit your goal into your routine, it becomes a habit. I started to enjoy drawing the X when they started adding up. I was proud of what I had accomplished while still working on the bigger goal of book publishing.
That simple goal of writing 20 minutes a day was challenging and focused my energy. It could be the best I ever wrote or the worst; it doesn’t matter as long as I write. I just have to write every day to make the habit stick and seeing the pages increase was very motivating for me. Over a month, I got new ideas and built up my ability to focus and get more done within the allotted time.
Now take a look at your goals and priorities. Do you see some aspect of your life that would benefit from the “Don’t Break the Chain” method? For some of my clients, they have found ways to fit exercise into a busy schedule, find time for meditation, go to bed on time, review their success goals, budgets, and business plans; there’s a lot you can accomplish when you just make time every day.
Want to try more success habits? Lifestyle success guru Tim Ferriss was so intrigued by those routines he interviewed hundreds of successful and creative business leaders for his books “Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World” and “.Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons and World-Class Performers”