On January 1st we start full of energy. On the 2nd, the motivation for a fresh new year is enough, but on January 3rd at the latest, we have to force ourselves to get started. One day later, we run out of air. Jumped as a tiger, landed as a bedside rug! 

It doesn't have to happen to you. You can use a simple trick to stay on the ball and achieve your goal: Don't break the chain.  

Just Do It Every Day 

Jerry Seinfeld had given a beginner writer this tip when asked how to become a good comedian. He recommended that he work on his gags every day because better gags are the basis for a good comedian. To write daily, the beginner should get a wall calendar and a red marker and tick each day on which he has implemented his project in red in the calendar. This is as enjoyable and satisfying as checking off or crossing out the to-do list. 

Seinfeld's most important tip is, "Don't break the chain!" Let the number of days ticked grow into an ever longer chain, and do not interrupt it. 

Don't Break the Chain? Why Does the Trick Work? 

Think back to your New Year's resolutions, let's say: To create a new product this year and bring it to market. Or finally shed a few pounds.  

These are all big goals. Success lies a few months in the future. Even if you know that you will earn more money later, that you feel more comfortable in your skin (or that you can finally put on your old, beloved jeans again), the motivation of such a distant goal is not enough to keep you going. 

Often, it just takes a lot of effort to get back to work on the big thing. You have to keep reminding yourself what all this effort is actually for. Once you've made up your mind to tackle it all over again, you tend to make it perfect and time-consuming. So: You sit at the computer all weekend and write on your project, or you go on a hard crash diet for two days. And then there is another long break because the effort is too great, but the goal is still a long way off. 

This is not how it works: You need a policy of small steps. They don't hurt as much as a whole weekend at your desk, are easier to implement, and give you the quick successes that are necessary on the way to a great goal. 

The visible ticking off the days on which you remained true to your resolution activates your reward system in the brain over time. You quietly develop a new, positive habit by creating a chain of successful days. 

This is precisely where the magic of "Don't break the chain" lies! 

And What Do I Need it For? 

Whenever you have a big goal or want to establish a habit. E.g. 

  • play an instrument 
  • learn a language 
  • eating healthy 
  • develop a product 
  • read regularly, pursue further training 
  • Create and maintain order 
  • Include meditation in the daily routine 
  • write, draw 

How Does That Work With the Chain? 

You need small steps for your big goal, with which you get closer to it every day. To formulate a task that you can do every day.