Here is the best tip I’ve found in my “exhaustive research” of all things motivational and New-Year-Goal-ish: Jerry Sienfeld, a favorite creative genius of mine, uses a productivity tip he calls “Don’t Break the Chain.”
Here’s how it works:
Each January, Jerry would hang a large year-at-a-glance calendar on his wall. Then, for every day he wrote his new material, he had the exquisite pleasure of drawing a big red “X” over that day.
Drawing those Xs gets to be pretty fun and rewarding, so he kept doing it. Eventually, he had a chain of red Xs. He achieved his goal. The idea is to never break that chain.
How about using this approach for anything that you want to do daily: blogging, reading, prospecting, exercise, meditation, etc. ????
It works. Why would you NOT use it?
(seriously. If you answered that question I need to coach you for free.)
Here are five tips to succeed in the daily commitment of your choice:
(1) You only get to focus on ONE COMMITTMENT at a time.
Too many goals or tasks is unrealistic, and absolutely sets you up for failure. Pick ONE COMMITTMENT to focus on. (once achieved, add another!)
(2) Your action has to be SIMPLE and SPECIFIC.
Many people set goals that are vague, or too big to be accomplished in a realistic amount of time. For example, “My commitment is to write a blog post every day.” What is a more effective way to express this? ? “My commitment is to write 300-400 words between 8:30 – 9:30am and post it on my blog.” Breathe easy, it’s getting DONE!
(3) You must schedule time each day to complete the task.
KEY: Blocking out time to work on your priorities and committments is critical for success. Determine how much time you need to complete the task. Schedule a daily appointment with yourself. It’s not real until you write it down. It doesn’t get done until you schedule it.
(4) Be accountable.
Post your “Red X Calendar” where others can see it. Post updates on your blog, or Twitter or Facebook. Get an accountability buddy. Ask one of your fellow uLink members! Start or join a mastermind group and hold each other accountable.
(5) Do it anyway.
There going to be times when you just don’t feel like doing whatever it is you’ve scheduled. Here is your mantra: “Feel the (procrastination, laziness, overwhelm. . . ) and DO IT ANYWAY.” To move forward you must cultivate the qualities of discipline and determination. Taking action, whether you feel like it or not needs to be your number one priority.
So. . . does this speak to you? Go for it, and keep those red X’s rolling. Have a love affair with your red X’s.
Use me for some hard-core accountability. This could be the game-changer. Have an excellent 2012!
Jenifer Novak Landers