When you’re trying to get better at something, it’s hard to be consistent. And skipping one day makes it easier to skip the next.
So how do you fight it?
One system that’s gotten pretty popular is called ‘No Zero Days’. It originally came from the depths of reddit — but really, it’s good stuff.
The movement began with a lone comment by redditor ryans01, in response to a post by someone going through a bit of downward spiral. In it, ryans01 offered some basic guidelines for anyone dealing with the ‘ever circling vortex of self-doubt and frustration’.
The comment read: ‘There are no more zero days. What’s a zero day? A zero day is when you don’t do a single fucking thing towards whatever dream or goal or want or whatever you got going on. No more zeros. I’m not saying you gotta bust an essay out every day, that’s not the point. The point I’m trying to make is that you have to make yourself, promise yourself, that the new SYSTEM you live in is a NON-ZERO system.’
But this idea of not letting a single day pass without doing something towards your project is also backed by one of our favourite comedians. (Though he calls it something different.)
Enter Jerry Seinfeld.
When asked if he had any tips for aspiring comics, Jerry said that the way to be a better comic is to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes is to write every day.
Seems simple enough.
But his advice also had a leverage technique for when you just don’t feel like it.
Here’s how it works:
He gets a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page.
He hangs it on a prominent wall in his home.
He gets a big red magic marker and keeps it at arm’s length.
For each day that he writes, he puts a big red X over that day.
And that’s it.
‘After a few days, you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.’
Daily action builds habit. It gives you practice. Which leads to expertise. Ya know, that place where small improvements become large improvements.
Forget zero days.
Don’t break the chain.
Start your own 90 day habit calendar today.