DAY 3: Programming Your Habits
Welcome to day 3 of the goal setting challenge. Did you create your systems yesterday? I hope you found them helpful.
Today we’re going to be talking about how to PROGRAM your habits. This is important.
Good news! You can PROGRAM yourself. You’re a robot, of sorts!
I mean, not really, but there are ways you can hardwire yourself for success.
As humans, we are programmed to respond positively to rewards. This is how HABITS are formed. When we receive a reward, we do it again, then get the reward, then do it again.
You eat chocolate because it tastes good, then you want more, then you eat it, and suddenly you have a nasty chocolate addiction.
But you can use this REWARD cycle to program AMAZING habits into yourself.
The great comedian, Jerry Seinfeld, was asked by a young comic how he could become better.
Seinfeld advised the comic to write jokes every single day.
Then he revealed his own system for writing jokes every day.
He put a large calendar next to his desk, and on each day that he wrote a joke, he put a big red “X” on that day.
Then he said, “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.”
Boom. That’s it. He created a simple reward system for himself. He really didn’t want to break the calendar chain and it made him feel good.
You can do something similar. You can create habits that will allow you to fulfill your systems, which will allow you to reach your goals.
Habit → Systems → Goals.
So simple. So powerful.
What habits do you want to program into yourself? These should be related to the systems you created above.
Let’s say the habit is to write 500 words every morning at 6:30 AM. You could use a calendar like Seinfeld, or you could reward yourself with something else, like a nice hot shower afterwards.
After some time doing this, you’ll automatically associate the pleasure of the shower with the work of writing.
Or let’s say you want to read 30 self-improvement books in a year. The habit could be reading 20 pages over your lunch break. The reward could be a 20-minute walk or a delicious cup of coffee.
Soon, you won’t want to break the chain!
If you want a digital version of the “Don’t Break The Chain” calendar, you can go here:
On a piece of paper, write down the habit you will create and the reward you will receive. Then begin DOING that thing every day at the appointed time. You’ll be amazed at the results.
Tomorrow we’re going to be talking about the power of PLANNING your days for maximum productivity.
Until then, please share one of habits and rewards you’ll be using.