The Crazy Suburban Mom: No more limp noodles

Monday, March 24, 2014

No more limp noodles

This post took three months and three people to come to fruition; it's often like that in our planner community.  Figuring it all out takes time and only one person is rarely responsible for the innovation and success of another...  But I digress.

Ray Blake wrote a post back in December called Personal Change With Your Filofax.   It was about using your Filofax in such a way that you stay (the operative word) motivated to do (or change, or improve) something.  It made enough of an impression that it popped up into my thoughts at least once a week; it's well worth reading if you haven't yet.

The popping part was always the same, "Don't break the chain" - Something that Ray attributes to Jerry Seinfeld (so I suppose that makes four people responsible for this post).  The idea is if you mark successful days off on a physical calendar do you really want to break that chain after 15 straight days of success?

 Image from My Life All in One Place

No.  It's sort of like watching your success devolve into a pile of cold, limp noodles and that alone can be strong motivation to do something just one more time.  Changing habits is best dealt with one day, one habit, at a time.

The second person who is responsible is Josh.  Josh posted a video about accountability in December and later started a facebook group on the subject. Sticking to things, and with things, isn't my strong suit so I joined.  I posted that I was going to close kitchen cabinet doors. It isn't an earth shattering problem (although it does make my kitchen look like it's been ransacked by kitchenalia robbers)  and it's mostly due to distractablity.   I didn't think I could change but I gave closing drawers a whirl and could not believe just the intention of closing things lead me to close them 90% of the time.   I was gobsmacked really, it's been a life long problem.


This all made me think I COULD change things I thought were habits made of cement.  I needed a way to track this all so I could see a string of success that I would not want to break, starting with simple easy things like I did with Josh's accountability project.

This leads me to DIY Fish and her inserts.   I asked her if there was a single year chart for tracking things like this and she said she'd let me know when it was up.  A few weeks later, Viola!


I started last week, picked a few easy things and began Ray Blake's Chain of Success. I did every single thing I intended and feel Josh's blissful accountability washing over me , and whenever I feel the old tug to not do something DIY Fish's Inserts  remind me I'm changing my life one day at a time.

I will do a specific post on how the chart looks and what I'm doing but this post is to  thank  all the people in the Philofaxy community for their generosity of spirit, creativity, and unending support.


Morag 3/25/14, 10:53 AM  

I have been waiting for just such an insert. Tell me, does it show each day individually and not just a week?

Bettyann Schmidt 3/25/14, 3:22 PM  

Good post, Tracy. I'm going to try this. I didn't do anything after watching Josh's video on accountability, and I never read Ray Blake's post re. breaking the chain, but now I'm sufficiently inspired! Thx.

Tracy Reinhardt 3/25/14, 3:29 PM  

Morag - it's weekly my number... The months are at the top and right under it are boxes one to 52. I am going to do a post about it specifically - what I do is keep track of the times I do things on a post it - and if I've done everything I intended per category I mark a dot on that week.

Tracy Reinhardt 3/25/14, 3:29 PM  

Bettyann - Everyone is so inspiring! I collect all these ideas until they bloom I guess :)

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