In a previous post I mentioned a new challenge – Don’t Break the Chain to Get Out Of Debt – I’m trying to add sizzle to my health improvement goals. I took it from a guy who took it from a guy who took it from Jerry Seinfeld. See, we’re already building chains.
In a nutshell, if you want to improve in an area use repetition and tracking as a tool to build progress. In my case, I want to drink more water regularly. This month, I’m tracking my 3 glasses a day water consumption using a calendar in Google drive.
I have to say after on 3 days, I’m very conscious of starting my day with a glass, getting another in around lunch, and ending the day on a refreshing note.
Not breaking the chain is golden. However, building the chain may be a bit of a challenge. Let’s review the following steps to use the chain approach to be on your way.
Use the newness to ignite momentum. Change is hard, but hope is encouraging. At the decision point of making a life transition, the possibility of change and success is high. Concentrate on the possibilities as there have been no setbacks yet. The newness of your plan provides excitement that you can use to build momentum right out of the gate.
Start small. I get excited with new approaches and then I want to race to the moon. How about just complete a 5K and then work up to moon races next? Pick one or two items to focus on building your chain in the first month. I choose drinking 3 glasses of water. I know 8 is the recommended bar, but to go from negligible to 8 overnight is daunting. You may want to start your auto savings plan. Start with $25/paycheck this month and build your chain.
Be Specific. I’ve known for months that I want to drink more water. I should, but drinking 3 glasses a day this month gives me a metric to check off to confirm progress. Do you need to increase your income by $500 so that you can make better traction dumping debt? Then you chain may need to include applying to 1 part time job every day for the next month. Build your chain.
Enlist friends. We’re a social people. We thrive in community. Let’s make our networks work for something of value and long term benefit, not just parties on the weekend of lunch buds at the office. Everyone can be working towards unique goals. The chains don’t have to match. The beauty is in the accountability. Create a team of chain builders.
Communicate your chain with friends. Develop a way to communicate your chain simply. We’ve posted a calendar on Google drive and given everyone edit access. We can edit at our leisure. We can also instantly see how everyone else is doing. Figure out how to share the chain building progress.
Get started today. One of the problems with starting someday, is someday is always in the future. Don’t worry if the process is perfect, you can adjust as you go. Don’t worry if everyone hasn’t selected their goals or updated the spreadsheet, start anyway. The sooner you begin, the sooner the chain building can take shape. Start building your chain today.
Do it again tomorrow. The way to build momentum and make progress is to be consistent. Kudos to your for getting started and enlisting your friends and trying something new. Now just do it again tomorrow. Don’t worry about how long it will take to fill up a calendar full of check marks. Do what you need to today. When tomorrow comes, do it again.
So again my charge to you is:
Select your goals to which you’ll apply the chain approach.
Enlist an accountability team and work together to accomplish those goals for the next month.
We’ll see – together – how this chain approach helped Jerry Seinfeld become the master comic that he is.
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