Habits and breaking the chains

One of my favorite ideas on habits from Jerry Seinfeld is “Don’t break the chain.”

His 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.

I’ve learnt over time that “don’t break the chain” is simple and useful action in the early stages of building a habit. It helps us recommit during moments when we’re considering quitting. And those moments are abundant in the early stages of habit formation.

But, over time, our commitment to the habit strengthens.

And, it is when breaking the chain is unthinkable that a habit is truly formed.