A New Motivation Method: The Calendar Chain
I have a bad habit of starting something, like a fitness or meditation routine, then I get sick of feeling forced to do things on a schedule, then I quit. It makes me mad that it happens, and so I keep trying to find new ways to stay motivated and doing the things that I need and want to do. Well, I saw a tip on a site I was browsing last month, and I’m going to give it a try and see if it works.
I honestly don’t remember if the site even had a name for the idea that they were offering, so I decided to call it the “calendar chain”. The basic idea is that instead of trying to do something on a set schedule every day at a specific time, you just commit to doing something at some point every day. When you do it, you put a mark on your calendar. What you want is to have an unbroken chain of marks on your calendar. The visual aspect of it is supposed to help you stay motivated. You just want to get another mark on the calendar and not leave any gaps.
Actually, I already started in December, but then I missed the weekend. I keep telling myself that it’s because of the holidays, but I’m not sure if that’s the truth or an excuse. So far in January I’ve only missed one day. I’m trying to not be angry at myself for that one missed day, and instead be happy about the fact that I’ve filled something in for 10 out of 11 days.
Now, I’m being a little weird about this, which shouldn’t be much of a surprise to anyone. You’re supposed to use this method to do one thing, but I’m using it for several. That might be sort of cheating, but I’ve got to start somewhere. I want to meditate, read and exercise more, as well as do more journaling. So for me, I’m going to try to make a mark for one of them each day. If I do more than one of them, awesome and I get to have more than one mark. My goal though is to do at least one of those things each and every day. Six weeks is the longest I’ve held on to any routine, so I want to see if I can keep going for longer than that.
Ideally, I’d like to have two or three marks every day, but if I can get at least one of them that will be something. I’m using Google Calendar for this, so I’m actually able to type in what I did as a task, then mark it off. If I do 15 minutes or more of meditating, reading or exercise, I put it on the calendar. I’m hoping that I can get an unbroken chain for the rest of the month. Doing at least one of these things every day would be so much better than doing little or none of it.
I really hope this works. I know I need more discipline, and the things that I want to do will be really good for me. Do you have trouble sticking with a plan to exercise, meditate or do other things? Have you found a method that works for you to keep you motivated and on track?
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