Don't break the chain - hard mode

Posted on — | 2 min read

The basic concept of Don’t Break The Chain is to do an activity every day so as to “not break the chain”. This is a method that enforces consistency. This is helpful to make habits stick, provide visual feedback on the progress on a daily basis and motivates us to keep going.

I came up with a slight modification to this method which I call “Don’t Break the Chain - hard mode”. This is how it works:

  1. You start with one habit that you want to do every day and you start marking your calendar. For example, read a few pages in a book every day
  2. You do this for a few days and keep marking the calendar. The chain starts getting longer and longer.
  3. Now you want to add another habit like “Meditate for 10 minutes every day”. Instead of creating a new chain, you just continue the existing chain.
  4. Keep adding habits like these along the way while maintaining just one chain. If you miss any of the habits, the whole chain resets and you have to start over.

The nice thing about this is, for newer habits you get a “headstart” with a chain that’s long enough already. But the flipside is, it’s much harder to skip any of the habits you’re tracking because it resets everything. So, it kind of is anxiety-inducing.

I tried this once and I stacked about 4 habits over the course of 5-6 months and it worked surprisingly well. I want to try it again sometime soon.