The comedian Jerry Seinfeld has a secret key to his success:
He would never go a day without practicing or making a joke. Even if it was just ONE.
He would pull out a calendar and mark off each day that he completed his mission.
DON’T BREAK THE CHAIN
By the end of the year, he’d amass massive momentum and racked up a ton of experience and practice. As a result, he improved his humour and comedy by taking small steps each day. The fear of not completing a day and breaking the chain as well as the continuous snowballing of taking action kept him going until the end.
Instead of just using a calendar for simple one habit or routine, you can steal Seinfeld’s secret method and use it for yourself … with ALL your habits.
Do this with the Kaizen chart that I’ve provided below:
I created this to help my students better track their new behaviours, but I’m making it available to you all here along with the future updates and upgrades. My gift to you 🙂
You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.
– John C. Maxwell
It’s not just a calendar to check off, but includes some key features to boost motivation and keep you on track:
- Big Goal: Let’s you know what you’re really after and keeping you focused on the outcome rather than the activity. Like the Seinfeld quote that opens the blog above, sometimes we get so hooked on a method or habit that we actually end up missing out on the real result that we’re after. Many times we just get stuck and need to tweak or even change what we’re doing in order to get it. Sometimes there’s an alternative or easier way – we must demonstrate behavioural flexibility.
- Purpose/Value: This is WHY you’re doing it – the reason. We often end up mindlessly doing activities without any meaning. This remedies it and gives the fuel to power you on.
- Frequency: No need to do things everyday. Some things need to be done weekly or biweekly. This allows you the freedom to be flexible and adaptable without feeling bad that you didn’t check something off.
Feel free to copy it, steal ideas from it, add to it, or make your own.
Power Tips: Why An Online Chart Makes More Sense
- Bookmark or set it as your homepage: Having an online chart allows you to keep it top of mind and always the first thing you see when you log on – making sure you never miss a chance to practice or take action.
- Use it with all your digital devices: the great thing about “cloud” technology is that you can cross-sync it up to every thing you use: phone, laptop, tablet etc., making sure that it’s always available and saving you hassle by only having to check off of one list and having it spread to all.
- Link it to all your related documents and sites for each habit or action: Some habits require you to do something online or on your computer. I sometimes suggest clients to use gratitudelog.com for a daily gratitude exercise (add me!) – it’s easy to just link the site directly into the spreadsheet activity cell. Just click it, complete it, and then “X” it off. Done!
- Share it for accountability, or team up: Being online and on cloud allows you to share the link with others so they can keep you honest about your progress and motivate or support you on your journey. Creating a mutual sheet with two people on it will make it more fun and a shared experience.
- Input one habit and take action on it to get it checked off today.
- Schedule time to fill out the rest of the chart and brainstorm other habits. (Better yet, do it now!)
- Go through the 4 power tips above and apply them!
Instead of the usual cliche Aristotle quote of being “what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit”, to end off, I instead offer you some insights from a modern business philosopher:
“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.”
– Jim Rohn
What are your foundational habits that you do daily?
Let me know in the comments below.
P.S. Did you miss the Kaizen Chart link I gave to you above?