Lots of practices work well as a once a day thing; even if only for a short time on that day. This is a simple way of establishing these as ‘Habits’. This idea was popularised by Jerry Seinfeld who advocated a simple version with a calendar on which you record whether you did a task each day…

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 (Jerry Seinfeld)

A few tips

  • Frame the task positively, though this technique can be useful for ‘anti-habits’ such as giving up smoking, healthier eating and so on.
  • Set a low minimum (which you will hopeful exceed).
  • Don’t try to do too many habits at once. Start out with one or two and then add more as you are finding your existing habits easier to maintain.

I created the Habit Streak series of Apps around this idea (similar applications are now available on all platforms), which removes the calendar and focuses on the streak count. By going digital you can get automated reminders and don’t have to depend on being in one place (e.g. if you are using a calendar in your kitchen).