A s you may recall from last Friday, we have some aspiring motivational speakers waiting in the wings to lay their goal-setting wisdom upon us. A big thank you to the Mouse with a Mic for last week’s advice on tiny habits.

For today’s Folk-Art Friday, please give a warm round of applause to….Ms. Raccoon!

Ms. Raccoon, what’s your goal-setting, habit-forming advice for us?

But don’t just take Ms. Raccoon’s word for it. Remember the author/artist, Austin Kleon,  who’s books have been jump starting my morning routine? He also writes about this:

“Amassing a body of work or building a career is a lot about the slow accumulation of little bits of effort over time. Writing a page each day doesn’t seem like much, but do it for 365 days and you have enough to fill a novel. One successful client pitch is a small victory, but a few dozen of them can get you a promotion.” – Austin Kleon, Steal Like An Artist (*affiliate link)

This strategy can apply just as easily to book writing as it can to flossing and social media boundaries. It’s a large reason why I chose to set up my goal setting calendar like I did – I wanted to fill in a circle each day I successfully stick to a habit so that I could start to build a chain.

Kleon goes on to write about Jerry Seinfeld’s system of keeping a calendar where he writes a huge ‘X’ every day he’s successfully completed his work (in Seinfeld’s case, doing daily joke writing). Kleon quotes him as saying:

“After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.” -Jerry Seinfeld, quoted by Austin Kleon in Steal Like an Artist

What if you didn’t set a goal or habit for January 1st? It doesn’t matter! Let today be your January 1st!

And if you DO break the chain? It’s okay! You’re human! Just don’t stop riding the bicycle because you fell off one time…or five or six or seven times. The streak of x’s or filled in circles are definitely motivating but don’t let them deflate you if the streak is broken at some point. We’re going for overall progress here.

Happy Friday, friends! Let’s get those chains started!