Not breaking the chain

I first learned about Jerry Seinfeld’s love for the “Don’t break the chain” approach to building habits years ago.

The approach is simple. Once you make a commitment, take a physical calendar and scratch out the date with a big red “X.” Then, refuse to break the chain.

While it didn’t resonate when I first heard it, I began using it (on an imaginary calendar) in the past weeks. It began with squeezing in a mini workout every day and it now translates to a mini workout + closing the 3 activity rings on my watch.

Thanks to this newfound refusal to break the chain, I’ve been able to keep these activities going more consistently than before. And, I feel its power every time I break the chain (e.g. for a recent day off). It feels temporarily acceptable to slip the next day.

But, once the chain is up and running, the momentum is back again.

Don’t break the chain. An idea that is as powerful as it is simple.