How can I create good habits?

Answer:  Try Jerry Seinfeld’s secret– mark off with a big red X on a yearly wall calendar every day you do your desired behavior–and see how long you can go without breaking the chain!

Jerry Seinfeld’s Productivity Secret

How can I get myself to do what I want to do?

Answer: Make vivid, concrete plans that specify when and where, how you’re going to do what you want to  do.

The power of making a vivid implementation plan has been confirmed over and over in research by Peter Gollwitzer and his colleagues since the 1990s. (Click here for links to all the research papers.)

Carol Dweck, in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, sums up how to make a vivid, concrete intention plan:

What works is making a vivid, concrete plan: “Tomorrow during my break, I’ll get a cup of tea, close the door to my office, and call the graduate school.” Or, in another case,: “On Wednesday morning, right after I get up and brush my teeth, I’ll sit at my desk and start writng my report.” Or: “Tonight, right after the dinner dishes are done, I’ll sit down with my wife in the living room and have that discussion. I’ll say to her, ‘Dear, I’d like to talk about something that I think will make us happier.’ ”

Think of something you need to do, something you want to learn, or a problem you have to confront. What is it? Now make a concrete plan.

when will you follow thorugh on your plan? Where will you do it? How will you do it? Think about it in vivid detail.

These concrete plans–plans you can visualize–about when, where, and how you are going to do something lead to really high levels of follow-through, which, of course, ups the chances of success. (p 228)