Jerry Seinfeld had some productivity advice. To keep writing jokes, he put a big calendar up on the wall. Every day he met his writing goal, he put an X on that day. After a while, the X’s formed a chain. It looked nice.
Your job is not to break that chain.
It’s great advice, I’ve used it to help build several new habits. I found a great, lightweight webapp to help you do that: https://chains.cc/
Chains.cc is really simple. You add a chain, and click if you met that goal each day. It forms a nice, satisfying chain. I added it to my bookmarks bar, and check off my goals at the end of each day.
It sounds silly, but it works. Whenever I’ve broken a habit, I’ve noticed that I’ve gone a few days without marking off my chains. I didn’t break the habit in the first few days, but not marking down my progress “allowed” me to break the habit later.
My one piece of advice: Don’t build too many chains. I find one positive goal (doing something) and one negative goal (not doing something) is as much as I can handle.
Once a goal is in “maintenance”, then you can add more.
Go make some chains!