I've been putting off writing this post for more than a week.
The last post I wrote was about how your blog is essentially your business card, and that blogging is the best way to get in touch with other cool people.
After that, I didn't post anything for three weeks.
Shame on me.
And here's where it gets funny. I missed the first week of posting because I was really busy with school. So busy that it actually made sense for me to not post. Fair enough. I should catch up next week when I'm done with the semester.
But when I was done, and when I had plenty of time to write... I always chose to do something else instead. I did other things on my to do list, worked on my other blog, and did a bunch of other stuff. But somehow I always postponed writing this post.
Even today I've been doing pretty much everything I could to avoid writing this post. It's already late at night, and I literally forced myself to start writing before going to bed.
You may assume that I don't like writing, and that's why I kept putting it off. But that's not exactly the case. In fact, I enjoy writing. It is rewarding and helps me systematically sort through my thoughts and ideas. And getting feedback and comments from others is just amazing.
But why did I not write anything for three weeks?
Quite simply, it's because I had lost my writing momentum. I thought I had nothing to say... I was struggling to choose a topic... I was even doubting my writing ability and whether I should be sharing my thoughts with the world at all...
I guess some people would call it writer's block. But in my case it was nothing more than losing momentum. It's not that I can no longer write. I simply fell out of the habit of doing it.
Now it makes sense why Tynan and so many other writers write every morning... That way they never lose momentum.
Now, let's say you do lose momentum on whatever you're doing. It could be writing, going to the gym, eating healthy, or anything else. How should you get back on track?
I wish there was a secret technique that could immediately restore your good habits... and solve every other problem in your life. But there is no such thing, of course.
Instead, you have to use all your willpower and just do it. And that's it. From the moment I wrote the first few words of this post, I've been writing at an extraordinary speed.
Whatever writer's block or other issues I had were gone almost instantly. And the next time I sit down to write it will be so much easier to start writing again. After that, it will be even easier. And over time, I will gradually become a better writer. All because of the power of consistency.
With the risk of publicly making a fool out of myself, I promise that from now on I will post at least one post (preferably two) every single week. It only takes an hour to write a blog post. I will not lose my writing momentum again.
Good to see you back. I was worried about you ;)
I've also found that writing everyday makes it a lot easier for me to write. In addition, I've also found that I get more ideas when I'm writing every day. I don't know if it's my Reticular Activating System focusing on personal development or what, but it's hugely noticeable.
This month I started writing down my goals for the very first time. There have always been things I really want to do, but somehow I never bothered to write them down. At first I thought I was just being pragmatic. After all, I already know what my goals are. How is it going to help if I write them down?
But now I've realized that I was actually scared of the future. Writing down your goals forces you to look into your own future, and that can get scary. Not only do you have to know what you really want, but you also have to confront the idea that it's not going to happen unless you start working towards your goals.
I've always wanted to start my own business. Ever since I remember myself, I've been daydreaming about being a successful entrepreneur, being my own boss, and more recently, making a positive contribution to the world. But the ugly truth is that none of this is going to happen unless I start taking action right now. Writing down my goals forces me to confront the harsh reality and actually start working towards my future.
I know that things will get tough at some point. They always do. But persisting through hardship is what separates successful people from those who never manage to get anything done. I've learned this myself the hard way. But now that I write down my goals, I know exactly what I'm struggling for. And I won't stop until I get there.
I write down my yearly, monthly, weekly and daily goals. Most of my monthly goals are small steps towards my yearly goals, my weekly goals are small steps towards my monthly goals, and so on. If what I'm doing this month won't help me get where I want to be at the end of this year, should I really be doing it?
I talk a lot about habits on here-- but there's a certain type of habit that's especially near and dear to my heart. Or a certain frequency of habit, I should say. The daily habit. I've found that whenever I want to make a change in my life, the best solution to it is implementing a daily habit.
My current lineup of daily habits is: floss, write a blog post, record a video, listen to a Chinese lesson, plan my day, play the violin. I also work on SETT every day, but I wouldn't really consider that to be a habit.
Every day really is a magic frequency. It's not just 40% more effective than five days a week-- it's one hundred percent more effective. When you do something every day, you remove a huge portion of possible excuses for not doing it. I know that when I had three-time-a-week habits, I would constantly renegotiate the schedule if I didn't feel like completing the habit on a particular day. You can't do that when you're doing it every day. You also never lose your momentum. If I don't write for a few days, my drive to write goes down. I find it harder to come up with topics, and harder to put the words together. But when I write every day, I'm alway in writer mode. I actually find it EASIER that writing once a week because every day it just comes naturally.
When you do something every day, especially something with productive output, it almost feels like cheating. Most bloggers (including me for 6 years) never have more than one post in the can, ready to go. I have over thirty now. I could die today and keep up my posting frequency for four months. A year from now I'll have almost three hundred posts stored up. That's three years of posting twice a week. Because of the momentum, my weekly writing burden feels lower than it did when I wrote once a week.