As January comes to a close, it’s easy to let those New Year’s Resolutions slide a bit. Maybe you wanted to go to the gym regularly and you had a busy week, which made it easier not to go the next week as well. Or perhaps you wanted to drink more water and you forgot for a few days and slipped back to that sweet allure of soda. Have a project you wanted to work on and get done this year? It’s pretty easy to forget about it on Wednesday if you haven’t worked on it since Sunday, right?
Well good news! It’s not too late to get back on track and there’s a great way to keep yourself accountable for it.
Way back in 2012, YouTuber Charlie McDonnell made a video about an idea called, “Don’t Break the Chain” that was as simple as it sounds. Commit to working on something, even just a little bit, each day. The momentum of the daily work will keep you going, not wanting to miss a day and all and you will make so much progress with all of that daily work.
Let’s say you want to write a novel this year. If you commit to working on it at least 15 minutes a day, you’ll have worked at least 91 hours. That’s more than two weeks of full time work, but you’ve only done 15 minutes a day!
After Charlie’s video was so well received, Karen Kavett created a single page PDF calendar to be able to mark off that chain and make sure it doesn’t break! She’s made a calendar for previous years and fortunately for all of us, she has provided us with one for 2014 as well!
The idea is that you write the project you have at the top of the calendar and mark of each day that you meet that mini goal. I have 3 going for different goals I have for this year and most days I’ve done okay with motivation, but there have been a few that I needed an extra push. On those days, knowing that I get the satisfaction of marking that day complete has actually helped me find the motivation to keep that chain unbroken.
One of my goals isn’t even daily. I’d like to go to the gym 3 times a week, but that would leave as many as 4 days unmarked in each week. So for those ones, every week that I have met my minimum, I put a different mark at the end of the week, creating a slightly different chain.
I’ll admit that I’ve been skeptical of this method in the past, but once I gave it a try and actually put my calendars in an obvious place, they’ve made it relatively easy to keep up with anything I use them for. So let us know what it is that you’re working on and whether or not you’ll be using Karen’s awesome calendar.