The fourth on my vaguebooking list “Four related names (Jerry, Elaine, Kramer and George) where only one is important”. Obviously, the four have one thing in common — the Seinfeld show! What do my 2015 goals have to do with the show? Absolutely nothing.
But the goals do have something to do with Seinfeld the person. If you do anything on goal-setting, lessons to improve habit-forming, time management, etc., it doesn’t take long before you trip over references to the “Seinfeld method”. And it does refer correctly to Jerry Seinfeld. Seinfeld adapted a simple monitoring technique and turned it into habit-forming gold.
Basically, you take a calendar and some goal that you want to do daily. Maybe it’s writing, maybe it’s to practice juggling, maybe it’s working out, maybe it’s eating healthy, whatever. But it has to be something that can be worked on “daily” (more or less). Then, with the calendar, every day you do your task, you get to put an X on the square. Sounds simple enough, and most gurus would stop there. But that isn’t the gold.
The gold is that Seinfeld used gamification (before there was such a word) to challenge himself — how many Xs could he do in a row without breaking the chain? How long a chain could he build? The sub-goal then is reinforced by a second goal — keep the chain growing.
Eventually, you’ll miss a day. Maybe you’ll be sick. Maybe you’ll be doing something else. Maybe you’ll forget. Again, whatever the reason, you don’t get an X. But that in and of itself isn’t a big deal because that just ended a “turn” so to speak, and now, the next day, you get to start the chain again. How many Xs will you get this time? Can you beat your last one?
So I have a large list of goals, of which I’ve revealed about 2.5. I’ve tried monitoring them before but never using the Seinfeld method. This year, it’s fully in play. I’m also going to adapt it a bit for things that I track weekly.
How many days/weeks/months in a row can I keep growing the chains?