January 22, 2008
The uptime command, in the UNIX world, displays how long a particular machine has been "up" or running. Recently I have been applying that term to my daily lower back exercises. After reading a getting things done article that talked about Jerry Seinfeld, I have been working on better uptime for my exercises.
Jerry said he gets things done by getting a large year-at-a-glance calendar, and by putting a mark on each consecutive day he works on new material. He said that seeing a continuous string of marks is a powerful motivator for not breaking the chain. When I first read this I thought to myself, "it is so simple it would probably work."
I weigh myself every day, and record the weight on a chart on our bureau in the bedroom. At night I do my exercises in that room, and I've started putting a little plus sign next to the date on my chart, to indicate a successful completion of my exercises for the day. A chain of one or two pluses is easy to break. Longer chains are much harder to ignore.
Presently I'm at 16 days in a row. Knowing that a miss now would mean starting all over again at 1 is a surprisingly powerful motivator. To use the UNIX term, I've got a 16 day uptime.