On January 1st of this year, I had started a “Don’t Break the Chain” ritual in three areas.
“Don’t Break The Chain” is an idea I heard about a long time ago from a Lifehacker article.
The idea is that you do something every day and track it visually on a calendar. Ideally, it would be an actual physical calendar you see daily, but I think a digital one can work just as well. As you do it daily and track it, you’ll see the progress and won’t want to break the chain.
It’s a simple idea with a powerful impact.
On January 1st, I started three “Don’t Break the Chains” in three main areas of my life — my business, my health, and my relationships.
I came up with three small things I could do daily that would move these three areas of my life forward…
- Business: Write for 10 minutes per day
- Health: Track my calories
- Relationships: Reach out in some form (IM, text, email, phone, in-person) with one friend daily, or do some activity that allows me to meet new people (yes to invitations, attend meetup.com groups, etc.)
The idea was to pick something so small that no matter what I was doing, it would be easy to do daily.
Here are my results:
Business (write daily for 10 minutes)
This has been amazing. While I broke the chain several times throughout the year, I have written more in this past year than I have in my entire life. And that includes all those research papers and dissertation in school. It wasn’t perfect, but what it’s done for me and my business has been amazing.
- I’ve gained more clarity in what I want and where I’m headed.
- I’ve worked on some inner game stuff that was making me stuck in certain areas.
- I came up with about a zillion ideas for my business and my clients’ businesses
- It’s become a sort of meditative practice. My intuition has become stronger. I feel much more connected to source.
I will definitely keep this going next year.
Health (track my calories)
I totally blew this one. I didn’t keep track of my calories very much at all this year. I’d say maybe a month’s worth. I will need to relook at this to see if it’s worth trying again.
Relationships (reach out once per day)
I blew this one as well. This one was surprisingly a lot harder for me to do than I first realized. I get so focused on tasks and working with clients, that I sometimes don’t give my relationships priority. This one I am definitely going to work on again next year.
I think the reason that the writing went so well this year and the other two fell a bit by the wayside is because I set a time to write every morning. It became a ritual. Get up, feed the cat her treats so she’ll shut up and stop meowing at me, make some coffee, and sit down to write.
The first month was pretty easy. I was excited to try it and it went well. The second month wasn’t so great. I went on vacation and attended the Traffic & Conversion Summit and my motivation waned.
But I stuck with it.
By the end of the year, I got a mess of writing (and I do mean mess) behind me and it felt great.
Give it a try!