Day One

The New Year is all but here. What’s on you RESOLUTIONS list? Sadly, I can’t think of one resolution I ever made that I’ve stuck to, and it’s not that I’m perfect just the way I am. Cynically, I slack off even making any. But this year is different, not only am I going to lose weight, exercise more and stop smoking (well, that was easy – I don’t smoke), I’m going to…

I found this list of popular resolutions at the USA.gov website. Actually, I think the best way to succeed is to pick ONE thing to work on. Jerry Seinfeld advises: “Don’t break the chain.” Get out that calendar your uncle gave you and put a big red X over each day you stick to your plan, your goal. Pretty soon you have a chain going and how can you let yourself break the chain? Years back, I used something similar to stick to the Royal Canadian Air Force [XBX] 5BX fitness plan, and it worked, it kept me motivated to do it again, just one more day.  Sadly, eventually I did break the chain, but that was a long while later.

As author Brad Isaac explains:

It works because it isn’t the one-shot pushes that get us where we want to go, it is the consistent daily action that builds extraordinary outcomes. You may have heard “inch by inch anything’s a cinch.” Inch by inch does work if you can move an inch every day.

Daily action builds habits. It gives you practice and will make you an expert in a short time. If you don’t break the chain, you’ll start to spot opportunities you otherwise wouldn’t. Small improvements accumulate into large improvements rapidly because daily action provides “compounding interest.”

Skipping one day makes it easier to skip the next.

I’ve often said I’d rather have someone who will take action—even if small—every day as opposed to someone who swings hard once or twice a week. Seinfeld understands that daily action yields greater benefits than sitting down and trying to knock out 1000 jokes in one day.

Think for a moment about what action would make the most profound impact on your life if you worked it every day. That is the action I recommend you put on your Seinfeld calendar. Start today and earn your big red X. And from here on out…

Don’t break the chain!

So inspire the rest of us, what’s worked for you in the past? What’s your secret, how did you stick to the promise(s) you made yourself?

Let’s do this.

Photo by Dan Moyle, used under Creative Commons license