"The Calendar About Nothing generates a "Seinfeld Calendar" from your public "Github" feed."
I made a Google-docs form containing boolean-answer questions regarding whether I did any of the things I aimed to do regularly (running, writing code, good interaction with people, etc), and wrote a script to remind myself to do it every night via email.
Answering "No" to a question put a nasty red mark on the generated spreadsheet, which led to a huge motivator as to avoid the nasty red marks on the otherwise clean spreadsheet. Now, after doing this for almost exactly a year, I can claim that this system works quite well for me.
I'm going to make this into a full-fledged app inspired by the "Calendar about nothing".
On a side note, I believe there are a number of iPhone apps that implement this system.
I can verify this. I use Streaks, which may have been the first one. It has support for multiple calendars (for different goals), which kind of breaks the simplicity of Jerry's approach. I might cut it down to one calendar/goal.
Playing mind games with yourself is rarely effective. If you want to write every day, just write every day.
The problem with the statement: "If you want to write every day, just write every day" is that it ignores the fact that "you want" is highly dynamic over time. There are many days when I don't want to work out, but in the long run and in hindsight, I definitely want the benefits that come from being healthy. The main point of building habits is to overcome the daily lack of motivation that keeps you from accomplishing what you really want to accomplish.
Anyway, I find it amusing that you dismiss this so carelessly without having tried it, when it's pretty clear that it works for a lot of folks.
Don't you think it would be better to select the tricks that operate your brain by intention rather than by accident?
But I see what you mean. It's much easier to give up again once you had to start from scratch once.
Jerry: The trick is, you don't break the chain.
George: Don't break the chain?
Jerry: Don't break the chain!
Kramer: I broke the chain...
Jerry: You broke the chain?!
Kramer: I broke the chain, Jerry, I did.
I would be more intrigued, though, to learn how to discipline your mind to do a task when it needs to be done (right now or at some later specific time). It seems that would take a lot more mental fortitude.
Example: I should get gas in my car on the way home from work. I don't need to, but it would help. A few hours later.. eh, I'm hungry, I'll get gas in the morning. Next day, late for work because I had to get gas. How do I discipline my mind to get gas when I should have? Silly example, but it's what came to mind first.
Unique voice, unique character.
Basically the cal has to have ALOT more green boxes than red.
Green = no junk day with food.
Red = Yes, you guessed it, I gave in to temptation.
One month in, I haven't missed a single day.
I'm still planning on writing an app to help the user track goals this way. :)
At A Glance is the typical big name retail company that manufactures these types of things.