All those big things we want to do — exercise more, improve our relationships, keep learning — tend to get lost in the daily grind. To keep yourself on track doing those things you enjoy and should do, Design for Hackers author David Kadavy suggests "prescribing" yourself jelly beans. Yes, jelly beans.
A prescription, as Kadavy describes it, is just a regular allotment of activity you do to maintain a resolution. These include things like running 30 minutes three times a week, which isn't exactly a to-do and more like a goal or recommendation.
To keep track of these "prescriptions" or things you should be doing towards your resolutions, use flavoured jelly beans:
I have four piles, one for daily, one for weekly, one for monthly, and one for yearly, and each prescription has its own flavour, or colour, of jelly bean to go along with it. Here are some example prescriptions:
- Watermelon: go on one hike a month.
- Tutti Fruitti: plan one social gathering a month.
- Peach: cook one meal at home per week.
- Blueberry: leave California once every two months, leave the United States once per year.
The jelly beans serve as (tasty) reminders, but you can substitute with M&Ms or anything similar. Whenever you accomplish the activity, just eat the jelly bean. Seems like a rewarding system on a number of levels.
Hit up the link below for more details, as well as an interesting look at the difference between resolutions, goals, to-dos and so on.
LifeBeans: Jelly Beans for Keeping Your Resolutions [David Kadavy]