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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Goal Update - Don't Break the Chain

Week #4 - Goal update: I'm determined to keep up with my goal of posting every Tuesday!

It's 7:20 pm and I just got home from a wonderful 31 hours with 2 fantastic girlfriends.  We all needed a post-holiday stress reliever so we booked a hotel downtown Seattle, had one of our guys drop us off and we hit the sales, enjoyed the holiday decorations and rode the holiday carousel giggling like 7 year olds.  It's still Tuesday so I still have time.......

But I can't possibly rest tonight, I need to mark that "X" on my calendar.  What, you might ask, does an "X" have to do with this blog post?  I am a list person, when I get overwhelmed with life's tasks, I make a list of everything I would like to get done.  I then prioritize the list and take great pleasure in crossing each finished task off my list.  I have also noticed that there are some things that no matter how high they are on my list, I would rather not do them and I find any excuse not to cross them off my list.   One of my friends who also works from home, shared a new way she is using to combat this problem .  She said to me "Don't Break the Chain"!  She shared this article from a website called "Lifehacker"

Editor: When software developer Brad Isaac told us he had productivity advice from Jerry Seinfeld, we couldn't turn down the chance to hear more. Read on for the whole story from Brad.
Don't Break the Chain is based upon a motivation technique purportedly used by Jerry Seinfeld: In a nutshell the idea is, 1) Pick a goal. 2) Mark off the days on which you work toward that goal. 3) Use your chain of marked off days as a motivator.
Years ago when Seinfeld was a new television show, Jerry Seinfeld was still a touring comic. At the time, I was hanging around clubs doing open mic nights and trying to learn the ropes. One night I was in the club where Seinfeld was working, and before he went on stage, I saw my chance. I had to ask Seinfeld if he had any tips for a young comic. What he told me was something that would benefit me a lifetime...
He said the way to be a better comic was to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes was to write every day. But his advice was better than that. He had a gem of a leverage technique he used on himself and you can use it to motivate yourself—even when you don't feel like it.
He revealed a unique calendar system he uses to pressure himself to write. Here's how it works.
He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker.
He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day. "After a few days you'll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You'll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain."
"Don't break the chain," he said again for emphasis.
Over the years I've used his technique in many different areas. I've used it for exercise, to learn programming, to learn network administration, to build successful websites and build successful businesses.
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!
Here is my "chain"  I used green instead of red.

Creative post:

Each month I will include a creative idea and/or photo of some of my card workshop samples.  Here are a couple for next month.  Because January is the "bridge" month to our new bi-annual Idea Books, I want to focus on how awesome our core product line is; My Acrylix stamps, cardstocks and coordinating inks.  I am also promoting the new products in "Inspirations".

The top card features D1298 Beautiful Things, Garden Green and Cocoa cardstock, New England Ivy and Cocoa Inks and clear embossing.  The sentiment is from the Wings workshop Kit G1016

The lower card is a take-off of Sheri Rottlers design for our Leadershare artwork.  This card features the Circle cards with the Wings bulk papers and new pleated ribbon, Mini Medleys Black and D1470-Dreams Come True with the "stamp kissing" technique.

Quote of the week:
"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen. "

Bobby - age 7


  1. I love the chain technique. My 2011 goal will be to use that!

  2. My goal is to sell Studio J memberships on my website.