The Seinfeld Calendar Trick

One trick that I’ve discovered pretty recently for my 30 day challenges is based on advice from Jerry Seinfeld.

The idea is that you get yourself a cheap calendar and a red pen. Every day you complete your daily challenge, you can cross that day off with a satisfying swipe of the red pen. Once you get a chain going, you’ll work even harder to avoid breaking your streak.

Here’s what my calendar looks like so far for my “write something everyday” challenge this month:

Showing a streak in the calendar

The ritual of crossing off a day–and the visual indication of success or failure–is a pretty good way to stay motivated and keep tackling your challenge. Little things can make a difference, like a routine or ritual about completing your daily challenge.

I also like that my red pen is held up with red thumbtacks. Sometimes it’s the small things that make you happy.

20 Responses to The Seinfeld Calendar Trick (Leave a comment)

  1. And now I’m going to go cross off today. 🙂

    • I use the same system from Seinfeld except I had Gold Stars on finished days and upside down smiles (like yours) only a sticker on days I goofed. I also add what I didn’t finish on a day to other days so those goals still get accomplished. Sometimes I even write them down on the day they are done. Just so I see how much I accomplished.

    • I don’t have calender , tell me how to do this with an android smartphone ?

  2. Thanks for the tip, Matt! I’ve gotten out of my writing groove lately and might just have to steal this.

  3. Mike Hart

    I read about a similar writing challenge a while ago on “The Art of Manliness.” It had different challenges each day like a six word biography, write a poem, and so on. Are you doing something like that or is it specific to your blog? Also, is it just writing or writing and publishing?

  4. You may enjoy org-habit if you are emacs-inclined.

    Cheers!

  5. Thanks for the advice Mr.Cutts! I shall attempt this approach to gettin some writing done as well.

  6. But Matt, on Nov 6th you failed. In my opinion you did not deserve the gratification of lifting the red pen of success and drawing a sad-face…the red pen of success if only for when you succeed. Pick up your game, bro. 😉

  7. Always promising. Tried this for a task, which was never gonna complete without the help of this trick. First you complete to kick start and once you’re in between, you don’t want to break the chain.

  8. It keeps things in perspective. There are very few bad days here, only 1 out of 12

  9. Have really been enjoying each of your daily blog post thus far! Please continue doing this after 30 days

  10. I’ve found the same thing with my pressup and pullup challenges. Once I stopped using the apps and moved to printed sheets next to my bed not only did my consistency go through the roof so did my capacity.
    I’m fairly certain the more the world turns digital, the greater the power of putting a big red line through things will become.

  11. Sinal Meas

    It is quite a nice trick; I will give it a try 🙂 I always procrastinate doing things…I love “Little things can make a difference”. Thanks for sharing this.

  12. It’s good to keep the calendar next to the door so that you can do it when you leave. Anything good enough for Jerry Seinfeld is definitely alright with me!

  13. Cool idea! I’m doing stars for the completion days and a happy face for my perseverance on the days I kept my nose to the grindstone even if I didn’t achieve 100% of goal.

  14. Me and my couple are going to try this technique for our diet, normally is uncontroled, with this now we are going to realize who is messing around the fridge!
    Thanks.

  15. I will have to try this, I have a blog but never seem to find the to make regular posts.

  16. Cheryl

    Am I the only one wondering what happened on November 6th? Just kidding. This is a really good tip which will come in handy for a new project.

  17. “What gets measured gets done” was always a good phrase which keeps me on track. This is very visual and simple though – I like it! Thanks Matt

  18. I will give a try to this calendar trick so that i can also see my habit of regular posting

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