The Jack LaLanne Technique
I have many writer friends and recently did a little favor for one of them. He offered to become my “accountability partner” in return. In writing – and other areas of the creative arts and entrepreneurship – an accountability partner is someone who checks in on you. He makes sure you’re completing your daily writing goals – usually a page count or word count – and not sitting around eating Pop-Tarts all day.
This gentleman asked me if I write every day. I told him I did. He then asked when was the last time I skipped a day. I replied, “I haven’t missed a day since 2012.”
In 2012, I began work on Scenes for Teens, my first book in The Young Actor Series. I also set a long-term goal to create one new book in the Performing Arts each year. I then broke this down into daily writing goals to help get me there. Most importantly, I promised myself never to miss a day.
Though I greatly appreciated my friend’s offer, I didn’t really need an accountability partner. My friend was impressed. To me, though, this was ... pretty normal and logical.
I learned the strategy watching the late, great Jack LaLanne, who hosted the first exercise and fitness show on TV. As a child, Jack had a dangerous sugar addiction. At age 15, he turned his life around and embarked on a lifetime exercise and nutrition plan. He maintained that plan consistently throughout his life. Shortly before his passing in 2011 at age 96, a reporter asked him, “Jack, when was the last time you ate dessert?” Without hesitation, the fitness legend replied, “1937.”
Jack LaLanne never skipped a day. He never compromised on his goals. I call this The Jack LaLanne Technique.
One year after his passing, I adapted Jack’s strategy to my writing efforts. My first book, Scenes for Teens, took a whopping three years to complete – much longer than I expected. However, with time, patience, daily practice – and eleven truckloads of Pop-Tarts – I gradually learned to accelerate the process. With the publication of Monologues for Kids and Tweens last year, I was finally able to achieve the original 2012 goal: writing one new book in the Performing Arts annually. This would not have been possible without applying the Jack LaLanne Technique.
Try this strategy for yourself. Ask yourself what long-term goal you can accomplish if you’ll decide never to skip a day. We’ve all had the experience of cutting corners, underperforming, and generally not putting forth our best efforts. Believe me, I’ve been there too, in multiple areas of my life ... but not while writing this book series. Instead, I promised myself to follow Jack’s lead and haven’t skipped a day in eight years.
Rest in peace, Jack LaLanne. I’ll always be grateful for the inspiration.
And please forgive me for the Pop-Tarts.