Making a change in our lives often seems daunting, it seems to be big a task.
In September 2014 I signed up to 750words.com, an online daily writing journal, where you have to write a minimum of 750 words each day. I was inspired to do so by my mate Bernie. My commitment was great to start with, as so often I have been in life at the beginning. I was really wanting to deal with my lack of commitment to things.
I had read the brilliant book ‘The Compound Effect’ by Darren Hardy, where he talks all about taking action, small steps, on a day-to-day basis and how eventually it builds momentum and accelerated results over time. Also, I always cherished the words of Brain Tracy’s equally brilliant ‘Eat that frog’ that I had read many years before.
However, I started to miss days on 750 Words and as had often been a repeating pattern in my life, the commitment started to go.
I learnt about daily rituals, especially from my friend and coach Debbie and again started off with huge enthusiasm, armed with a long list of daily habits. Only to find it hard to sustain 30 + different repetitive daily tasks.
I am a huge fan of Seth Godin’s, as well as Simon Sinek and the one and only Brene Brown. It was one of Seth’s interviews with Chase Jarvis, where Seth talks about how important daily blogging is, and it was one of the few things I did each day, read his blog.
He also pointed out that don’t expect to be an overnight success, I had often looked on with some envy at the 1/2 million subscribers to his blog and thought how on earth do I get to more than just my Mum reading my blog.
He added that it had taken him 10 years. Shit!! it’s that commitment demon I have to face again, arghhhhhh.
However, without really realising it, I was slowly but surely on the right path in life, I was nearly two years into giving up alcohol, I had lost 7 stone in weight slowly but surely over 4 years of daily commitment, I was by May 2015 right back on my daily writing journal and in August 2015 I was starting to blog more regularly.
On 1st September 2015, I set myself the challenge to write and publish a blog every single day for a year and to continue to do the same with my 750 words, which was a different set of writing, very private thoughts, a brain gym, that was definitely not for public consumption.
Well the 750 Words I had started a continuous writing streak a little earlier than 1st September and I have now completed 435 out of the last 436, a little annoyingly forgetting to do it on a day in December last year, thus resetting the counter to zero. But I am now on a new streak of 264 days and I am certain I will now hit the unbroken year there and earn my Pegasus badge.
Today, with this post I am hitting the magical year of blogging every single day, pop open the champagne. Well, I don’t drink, so I’ll pop open some sparkling apple juice instead.
Anyway that was an overly long preamble to today’s post and this wasn’t to say ‘oooh look at me’ – well maybe a bit but we are all human. Today’s post was to share what I have learnt and what I have got out of a year of posting to the world every day.
1. The commitment ‘muscle’ has really built and despite many failed attempts to do so, it is now there. It is enabling me to accelerate other habits, the good old ‘compound effect’.
2. I have got much better at writing. I also realise there is no such thing as writers block.
3. More people read my blog, a more than trebling of readers.
4. More comments, likes, views and visitors. More exposure for my ‘art’ as Seth would say.
5. It has helped me to improve my art and photography, as for almost all (see a selection in the gallery below) the posts, I have tried to do my own art, drawing, painting or use an original picture that I have taken. Art is another passion of mine, reignited by my mate Doug.
6. I have improved my sepllnig and grammar.
7. I can write faster, more concisely. This helps with all the content I produce, not just this blog.
8. It has helped me think out loud and problem solve.
9. It has helped me advise myself and share thoughts.
10. I know that it has helped many others with challenges and I have received some great feedback, it has changed how some people do things and certainly has for me.
11. It has been a daily focus, a moment shut away from the world each day. It has helped me concentrate more and I am now reading ‘Deep Work’ by Cal Newport, which I believe this year has been the foundation for the next step away from shallow work, where I am like a magpie, easily distracted by anything shiny that passes by.
12. It has created content for my first book that I plan to now put together with the best posts from the 365.
13. It has helped me develop a commitment to my other daily success rituals of which I now have 40 and that does not include brushing my teeth, getting dressed or eating. I have learnt how to develop habits step by step, day by day.
14. It has given me more self-confidence.
15. It has made stop over-thinking things, especially what to write. When you have to come up with a post every day, I find now I just go, start typing.
16. I now have stopped worrying what others think and rarely look at the stats for an individual post, previously modifying what I wrote because of them.
17. I write simply because I love doing it.
18. It has helped me move away from instant gratification things.
19. It has helped me continue my belief that you can change anything in your life and you can do whatever you choose to do.
Life is a series of small steps taken regularly, it is a continuous stream of choices, it is all about doing things that bring joy and happiness.
Thanks to everyone who has inspired me, you know who you are, thanks for reading this and I am looking forward to writing tomorrow’s post the first step on the next stage of another year of writing every day.
One step is all we have to take to start a different life.