“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act but a habit.”

The quote above is often attributed to Aristotle. It is actually a quote by Will Durant who summarizes Aristotle’s thoughts on habits in The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World’s Greatest Philosophers.

If only forming new habits were easier.

In this week’s 1 Minute Productivity, I discuss a method Jerry Seinfeld uses to create a new habit.

According to Behavior Science Expert, James Clear, “The Seinfeld Strategy works because it helps to take the focus off of each individual performance and puts the emphasis on the process instead. It’s not about how you feel, how inspired you are, or how brilliant your work is that day. Instead, it’s just about “not breaking the chain.”

What new productivity habit would you like to form? Let me know in the comments below.

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Video Transcript

Below is the full video transcript, for those who prefer to read.

What’s a proven technique for cementing new habits that came from a stand-up comedian?

Hi, I’m Steve Kahle – Welcome to 1-Minute Productivity

Brad Isaac sought comedy advice from successful comedian, Jerry Seinfeld.

Jerry said the key to creating better jokes, is to write every day – to make writing a daily habit.

Seinfeld explained his system – he taped a large calendar on his wall and for each day he wrote jokes, Jerry would mark the day with a big red ‘X.’

After a few days Jerry would see a chain starting from the red X’s and created a simple goal of not breaking the chain.

So why is the ‘Don’t Break the Chain’ approach so effective in building new habits?

    1. 1. Easy to start – just print this template and tape to your bathroom mirror.
    1. 2. Easy to see results each day as you extend your chain.
    3. Easy to keep you on track – even if you break a chain, you can start a new one.

It can take up to 2 months to form a new habit. What productivity habit do you want to make? What chain are you going to start today? Let me know in the comments below.

Thank you watching and being a part of my productivity tribe. If you found this helpful, forward it to one person you know!