Don’t Break the Chain

I have been listening to the book Atomic Habits by James Clear recently. James is actually from Ohio and someone I have had the pleasure of meeting, talking with, and learning from. His book is sincerely phenomenal. I have listened through it once already and am almost through it a second time. The main premise of the book (as you can most likely assume) is how to create good habits (systems) and how life changing they can be. He lays out not just the “why”, but the “how” throughout and without going on forever, I highly recommend this book to anyone alive.

That all said, in one part of the book he mentions a story about Jerry Seinfeld in which he mentions that he writes jokes everyday. Not worried about whether the jokes are good or bad, but more importantly, that he is consistently writing them. He says that his mantra is to “never break the chain of writing jokes.”

That is such a simple and yet powerful concept. One that is not easy to really grasp and many people have an issue with. In most cases, being consistent is the key to success. If I want to be a better writer, I need to consistently write. If I want to be healthier, I need to consistently train and consistently eat better. If I want to be a better husband, I have to consistently make sure I am tending to my marriage. Etc…

Too often we are obsessed with grand gestures or massive and immediate changes. As James states, the things that give us instant gratification are not always the things that are good for us in the long term. The inverse is usually the case. The things that will keep the biggest rewards in the long term are rarely the source of “instant gratification.”

Ice cream might taste great now, but it won’t help you in the long run. Skipping a training session may feel great now, but won’t help you in the long run. You get the idea.

Instead of focusing on big all the time, focus on consistent. Don’t worry about writing a full chapter in one sitting. Instead, just try writing for five minutes everyday. Instead of skipping a workout because you’re not feeling it or you don’t have time to do “anything effective,” just take what time you have and do something, even if it’s just a few squats and some active stretching or mobility. Don’t break the chain of consistency.

Simple. Effective. Life changing.

If you want get something done, start doing it. A little bit at a time, but consistently and see the changes you will make in the long run.

If you get a chance, check out Jame’s book Atomic Habits. I guarantee you will learn from it in a great way!

Be good, train hard, stay safe.

-aaron