Thursday, January 10, 2008

Don't Break the Chain!

I admit it! I am a glutton for tools that help me keep me on track with my goals. I so easily fall off the wagon when I don't take time to plan my use of time and energy. So, here's another one, Don't Break the Chain! It was brought to my attention by a website story about Jerry Seinfeld. He was asked how he managed to be so productive and he said he started using an annual calendar to mark the days he performed his daily writing goals with a big X. He noticed a chain of X's developed, so his challenge was to not break the chain. Someone has developed a web site to take the place of having multiple physical calendars. I love it. I have six things I am tracking everyday. I have a few broken chains so far, but its fun to watch the chains grow and to start over when they are broken.

Ben Franklin had a similar tracking system by which he monitored his thirteen virtues. He developed it when he was in his twenties and was still using it when he wrote his autobiography at age 79. He committed to tracking his success in each of the thirteen areas and gave special focus to one each week. He developed a table for each virtue, reviewed them each evening and placed dots in the square for the days he faulted. After thirteen weeks he would start over moving through the virtues four times per year. He was motivated by Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."

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