When I started running daily back in August 0f 2009, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up the habit. I had tried running regularly before, but over time I would get lazy. As a solution, I created an incentive system that kept me from petering out.
I called it Cherry Equity, and how it worked was if I ran twice in a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, I would earn two cherries the following morning. Actual cherries, a big bag of them. If I did really well, I would earn an extra bonus cherry. On the other hand, if I skipped an afternoon run, I would only get one cherry the following morning, and if I skipped a morning run, I would lose out on the whole reward. The key to success was the fear of losing out on cumulative rewards. If I had one cherry after every run, it wouldn’t have been as big a deal to lose the reward after one or the other. On the other hand, losing out on a reward I had already earned was a drag.
Having come a year and a half of no longer needing cherries to keep up the habit of running, I find I would love to apply the system to writing content. I am very sporadic when it comes to writing, but with a cumulative incentive system, it could work. The question is what kind of incentive works well for writing, flavored pens? I need a real content strategy, and writing twice daily could work but it will hinge on having a real reason to do it. What’s your reason?