Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Year's Resolutions: The Tricks I Use for Staying on Track

Be Like Jerry Seinfeld

As I get older, I think I get better at keeping promises to myself, although as a 7 on the enneagram, it is never easy. As a 7, I run from the pain.  I search for more immediate pleasures rather than the pleasures achieved by meeting a long-term goal.

Some of the promises I want to keep this year are to:
  • Complete two law review articles for publication.
  • Exercise four times a week with my accountability buddy, Heidi.
  • Blog at least once a week.
  • Complete research on the status of ADR in the Arab Gulf region.
  • Eat and drink more mindfully in a way that supports my health.
  • Save more money now that I am through my transition to Doha.
  • Learn to speak Arabic.
I need a few gimmicks (aka strategies) to help me keep those promises. I've collected many of them in a book I like to call my coaching journal.  It keeps the highlights from various self-help books I have read since moving to Doha. Right now, it houses tips from:

I read through the journal again this week.  I plan to read through it once a week this coming year. 

I've talked about some of the ideas and tips about personal growth, goal setting, and taking steps to reach those goals herehere, here, here, herehere, and especially here. In fact, when I went back through my blog archive, I found goal achievement a recurring theme. 

The comedian, Jerry Seinfeld, used one of my favorite tricks to become a success. He called it: "Don't Break the Chain."  He ensured that he wrote jokes everyday -- not necessarily good jokes every day, but enough better jokes that his production far exceeded the joke-writing efforts of other struggling comedians.

Jerry used a year-long calendar system that kept him accountable and motivated.  He bought a calendar showing all 12 months of the year, affixed the calendar to a prominent wall, found a red marker, and then marked a big X through every day on which he wrote jokes.

Seinfeld explained:  "After a few days you'll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You'll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain." 

In my next post, I will talk more about Gretchen Rubin's tips on building good habits. 

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