For the last 90 days I have been participating in a writing challenge started by Jeff Goins and I have to say that I am beyond pleased with the results. He called it “My 500 Words” and basically we were challenged to write 500 words everyday for the month of January. Many, many, many people took the challenge to heart and began to write every day and a whole bunch of them have continued to this – the start of the fourth month of 2014.
Early on someone posted a link to an article about how Jerry Seinfeld goes about his writing and he said one of the secrets was to write every day – Jerry is one of the reasons I first stood on a stage and performed comedy. In the article he talks about marking a calendar for everyday that you write and that you get to the point where you see so many days marked off that you don’t want to “break the chain.”
I took the idea and ran with it. I printed off a calendar and marked off every day I wrote – I really like the one you will find at the link above – and I understand where Jerry would find the satisfaction from marking the calendar everyday – like a Junior Mint, “It’s very refreshing.” I even started hash tagging all my posts in the group and encouraging others with #dontbreakthechain.
My calendar is pictured above.
The dedication that has been shown by so many writers – including me – through this 500 word project got me thinking about how important the “chain” has become and how useful the concept would be for anyone looking to start a habit, stop a habit or achieve a goal.
I believe that most people can do whatever they have to do for a period of time; work two jobs to catch up on bills, work and go to school, work, go to school have kids write a book build a model train – you get the idea – as long as they know there is an end coming they can stay motivated to finish the task
The idea of working two jobs, for example for longer than a year or so, is too daunting you won’t keep both and if getting out of debt is your goal you’ll likely fail. But if you know that you’re only doing it for six months to a year your chances of success go through the roof – and that’s where the “chain” can help you be successful.
In the article Jerry mentions the rush you get from seeing all the red “X’s” – I get that. Part of the fun for me has been to look at the page that used to be totally white and see the red – now I cannot wait until the thing is covered – I may frame the thing.
So, I have decided that I am going to add a new wrinkle to my challenge and for the month of April I am going to read the Bible every day. No, silly I am not going to read the entire Bible every day but I am going to read a chapter or two. I have said for a long time that I need to spend more time reading God’s word and I think with the Jerry’s help – or at least his calendar idea – I just might do it. Look back at the picture at the top – see the circle around today’s date – 1 APRIL 2014? That’s the new mark that I am adding to the “X” for writing. Sure, it’s just a circle but you can make chains from ’em!