Putting an X on the calendar matters to comedian Jerry Seinfeld. The story is told how Jerry had a goal, for years, of writing a joke every day. It’s important to understand this is not a quick or easy thing. The New York Times did an article about Jerry’s joke writing process. It’s pretty intensive. His goal is to create a useable joke every day. Once Jerry accomplishes that he puts an X on the calendar.
After a while, Jerry Seinfeld had two goals…writing the joke and not breaking the chain.
If you are doing The 30 Day Fitness Challenge you building you are own chain of fitness. Each day you reach your goal is a new link in that chain. By the end of today your chain will have ten links. As the chain grows it becomes a powerful motivator.
I experienced this a couple days after I finished my 20k One Year Step Challenge. The goal was to reach 20,000 steps every day for a year. I crossed the finish line on Saturday, August 31. Two days later my schedule did not make reaching 20k easy. In fact, it was super hard. The Challenge was over and I seriously considered “taking the day off”.
But, I couldn’t. My chain had 527 links. I had actually reached 20,000 every day for a few months before I started the clock on the One Year Challenge. We were driving home that day from the beach and it was a six hour car ride. Once home, I would only have a few hours before hopping back in the car for another long ride to a wedding we were attending.
The only way I was going to reach 20k that day was if I didn’t sit down for those three hours in the middle of the day. That did not appeal to me at all!
But, what appealed to me even less was breaking the chain.
Robert Kraft runs eight miles a day. Since January 1, 1975 he hasn’t missed a single day. He’s run his eight miles while sick, hurt, and through three hurricanes (he lives in Miami). His chain now has 16,455 links. There’s only one thing that will break Robert’s chain. You can probably guess what that is.
Fitness is not easy. There’s not just one thing that will motivate you every day. On some days the end goal will be enough to get you moving. Other days it might be the enjoyment of the activity itself. And, then there are going to be those hard days when it’s not fun and you don’t care about a goal that feels far away.
Those are the days it’s helpful to have a long chain that you simply don’t want to break. Every day you add a link makes it harder to break that chain.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY
If you don’t have a daily Fitbit goal, I want to challenge you to give it a try. It will help you create a fitness habit which builds fitness momentum and eventually leads to fitness transformation.
I recommend The 30 Day Fitness Challenge. This free guide will walk you through how to get started. It’s very easy.
If you don’t have a Fitbit I recommend the Fitbit Inspire HR. This is the Fitbit I use to track my 20,000 steps a day. The Inspire HR also tracks your heart rate and sleep so you get an even wider picture of your fitness progress.
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This blog is designed to help you embrace walking as a fitness activity. It’s sustainable, flexible, effective, and fun. Every week I post new articles with stories and helpful suggestions to Win at Fitness.
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