As a stand up comic, Jerry Seinfeld knew the way to be a good comic was to write jokes every single day.
He put this observation into action by getting a large wall calendar and a big red marker. For every day he wrote a joke, he put a big red X for that day on the calendar.
After a few days, there’s a chain of X’s on the calendar which builds some pressure to keep the chain going. The goal was to never have allow any breaks in the chain.
Don’t break the chain. It’s that simple.
If you skip one day, it’s so much easier to skip the next.
Find What’s Important and Make it a Daily Habit
I’ve struggled with keeping important daily habits as much as the next guy. Solving this problem with the small investment in a calendar and a marker sounded like a good deal. If something is really important, shouldn’t you devote a portion of each day to it?
I know I should exercise daily, eat healthy, wake up early, practice guitar, read some, learn some…you get the idea. But, life tends to get in the way of what we really
want need to do. My first use of the Seinfeld Strategy was to finally put daily exercise into practice. Specifically, I wanted to do push-ups every day.
I started small, with 10 push-ups. Something I could do that wasn’t a big deal, took very little time and was too easy to skip. 238 days later, I hadn’t skipped a single day. In those days, I racked up 7,513 push-ups. My chain didn’t break for 238 days! I’m pretty proud of that, especially since I’ve never been one to keep up with ANY exercise routine for very long.
I’d love to tell you that I’m still going strong, but, sadly, on the 239th day, I simply forgot to do my push-ups. I guess one out of 239 ain’t bad. I was pretty bummed about this for a day or so, but I jumped right into another routine that I’m still following. Plus, it’s hard to feel down too long about doing push-ups every day for over 6 months!
What Does This Have to do With Practicing Guitar?
If you want to become a better guitar player, you have to work at it every day.
Getting better at guitar is a lifelong pursuit of mine. And now, I’m going to put this Seinfeld Strategy to work and become a better guitar player. Here’s where you come in:
I just joined a group on the habit building website, Lift, to make a daily habit out of practicing guitar for at least 15 minutes every day. Completely free, I might add.
One of the most important things in my life is a consistent dedication to the guitar. So, I’ll be using Lift to help make this a habit – automatic. Unlike my calendar approach with push-ups, Lift can help you be accountable to a community. But you check in daily to ‘keep your chain going’. I guess Lift is sort of a high-tech version of the calendar and red marker Seinfeld Strategy. I’m going to give is a go for a bit and I’d love for you to join me.