Recently, I shared about how I have maintained my green drink habit. Let me contrast this to another habit that I’ve NOT maintained regularly.
Last year, one of my “banner goals” (AKA “new year’s resolutions” ) was to write a book. I have had a book germinating in me for some time, but haven’t made it happen.
I knew that I needed measures in place to make it happen, that, frankly, I didn’t have the discipline (yet!) to sit my butt in the chair and write, which is pretty much required when you’re writing a book.
I did make some progress though! And much of that was through the help of a writing accountability partner, my friend, Chris.
I set up a schedule for last few months of the year to meet Chris at Starbucks Moanalua on Thursday afternoons. The intent was to write.
When I got there and actually worked on my writing and made progress, I felt great!
But that didn’t always happen…
Sometimes, I would end up just talking story with Chris, and very little writing got done.
Here’s how I accidentally sabotaged my own progress:
*I planned a meeting in Moanalua at 5PM during rush hour traffic and I was often late getting there and frustrated when I arrived. This made it harder to concentrate on the writing task at hand. Also, in late December, when my car broke down, I didn’t have a way to get to the meeting, so I blew off writing altogether.
*I didn’t discipline myself to actually write. I was excited to be with Chris who is very bright and a great thinker, so I would often engage in conversation and blow off the reason why I was there!
*I didn’t have clarity on the book itself…what (truly) it was about. It made the entire process muddy and I found myself avoiding facing that muddiness head on.
Here are the fixes I’ve set up for the new year:
*I’ve gotten real about the logistics of meeting on the other side of town during rush hour. I have asked Chris if we can meet on Skype for two hours every Thursday at 5PM, so no car trouble or traffic will preclude us from meeting.
*I will set a specific schedule for every session, with an outcome for what I would like to accomplish. The outcome will be measurable (write this many words, read this much of an article or book, do research for this amount of minutes). I used to do this before, but I really didn’t take it seriously and outcomes were not as specific as the examples I’ve listed here. I will share with Chris my projected outcome at the beginning of each Skype session so he can hold me accountable to it.
*I will set up a separate time, on a weekend outside peak traffic, where I can meet up with Chris in person to both write AND catch up. This way, during my writing sessions, I can truly concentrate on the writing alone, and Chris is just that silent presence keeping me honest!
*I have greater clarity on the book’s (potential) title and overall theme/focus and this make me more inspired and inclined to write!
Is there a practice that you’d like to do but haven’t been able to do regularly yet? Analyze the process and see if there are things you are doing (like I was) that is sabotaging the process.
Post a comment below to share your own challenges and fixes!