Jerry Seinfeld is a legend to the comedic world and is also part of one of the most successful shows in history. However, if we take a trip back in time and investigate how Jerry Seinfeld became who he is today, we'll see that his trajectory to success was anything but luck.
In fact, he attributes his success to four simple words "don't break the chain".
The concept is simple: he hung up a big wall calendar with the whole year on one page, got himself a red magic marker, and each day he wrote, he put a big 'x' over that day. Over a few days, this becomes a longer chain in which you become emotionally charged to not break.
I used this strategy when working on my first book and often recommend clients start tracking a key habit using this strategy.
Here are two key reasons why applying this philosophy will pay large dividends for your life, business, and health.
1. You'll create momentum
Losing 20 pounds, getting to six-figures, and publishing your first book all require momentum in order to come to fruition. Momentum is your oxygen to the entire operation.
The quickest and most effective way to garner momentum is through small daily wins. Just like a bunch of singles leads to runs in baseball, a collection of small daily wins leads to big results down the road.
During my book process, momentum was built from writing 1000 words a day. Over time, these 1000 words led to a completed manuscript.
In fitness, don't break the chain could be committing to some form of exercise every day for 45 minutes. In business, don't break the chain could be making a daily outreach call. With your creativity, don't break the chain could be writing 500 words each day.
Lastly, make sure that your key action is a process-oriented task. You can't control precisely when the 20 pounds melt off, nor when the six-figures exactly arrives, or how the book performs. But you can control the process by doing the actions that give you the best chance of those desired results.
2. You'll prevent procrastination
Procrastination is where dreams suffocate and wither away. Along with suffocating your dreams, procrastination can lead to stress and anxiety.
By committing to not breaking the chain, you eliminate procrastination because you're continually operating in a proactive and action-oriented mentality which ensures you're on the playing field no matter what.
If you find yourself frequently in procrastination mode, it is often times because the action step you're trying to attempt is too big and is causing overwhelm (and sometimes it's merely fear). In that case, break it down.
If Seinfeld made it a goal to write an entire standup routine each day, that would be a disaster. Think micro-habits that make the habit feel almost too easy.
Success doesn't require magic, it just requires deliberate practice. Even for celebrities like Seinfeld, no one is exempt from the time and commitment required for success.
If you want to succeed in health, business, or as a creative, then make an agreement with yourself to not break the chain.