Today is day 95 of a 100 day blogging challenge. It’s no small miracle that I’ve somehow managed to see this challenge through.
As we round the corner and head towards the finish line, I’m cognizant of the fact that, without this challenge to keep me going, I’m likely to lapse back into my default state of writing exactly never. I don’t want that to happen.
A few days ago I outlined a very high-level plan to keep myself on track publishing new writing on a fairly regular basis. That high level plan consists of three types of regular posts:
- A habit journal update
- An exercise plan update
- A short review of any book I finish
More generally, I also want to publish something on this site at least once per week.
Habit Journal Updates
My habit journal is a month-to-month endeavor. Over the last few months, I’ve found that sharing my habit planning as well as talking about how well I did in prior months has helped me be more consistent than ever in establishing the habitual behaviors I want to practice.
Habit journal updates are naturally going to fall towards the end or beginning of any given month. Towards the end of the month, it’s natural to think and write about my plans for the coming month. At the beginning of a month, it’s natural to talk about how things went the prior month.
I’m not going to set too many rules for myself. It’s fine by me if my habit journal update falls at the end of the month, the beginning of the next month, or if I write two posts: one forward looking and the second a retrospective. The key here is to keep myself honest about how I’m doing on my habits as well as to give the next month’s habits some teeth prior to diving in.
Posts related to exercise have formed the backbone of my posts over the last 95 days. If I look at my post categories, it looks like I’ve written about exercise about a third of the time.
I write about exercise a lot because it’s something that’s easy to write about and because I enjoy it. I find exercise to be a very rewarding activity and an important part of my life, so it’s something I naturally find easy to talk about. Where this gets a little tricky is that exercise because my fallback “check the box” type of topic. When I don’t know what else to write about, I write a short workout log. That’s all good and well within the context of a 100 day blogging challenge where it’s impossible to come up with meaty topics every day, but it’s not something I want to do if I’m just writing once a week.
For this reason, I only want to count one exercise post per month towards my weekly publishing goal. Meaning that if there are four weeks in a given month, I need to publish four unique posts and only one of those can be about exercise. Now, I can certainly publish additional posts about exercise if I want to, but only one of the four will count towards my goal.
Right now, my plan is to write a summary post once per month where I talk across the board about my exercise regimen. I’m sure I’ll also post here and there about exercise when something noteworthy happens, such as if I complete some sort of challenge or run in a 5k.
Building a Reminder Into My Life
I know this about myself: if I don’t build reminders into my life, I’ll struggle to be consistent. This is particularly true for something that doesn’t happen every day, such as the idea of trying to write once per week. I know I’ll be more successful if I decide in advance how I’m going to do this. For example, I’ll be more likely to stick this out if I decide that I’m going to write on a certain day, at a certain time, and put that event on my calendar.
However, I’m also really struggling to come up with a fixed day and time to put on the calendar. This is likely an event that I’ll put on the calendar, but which will have to move around from week to week. If nothing else, the event on my calendar will force me to think about this habit every week.
Toward that end–the end of reminding myself to write every week–I’m going to add an event to my calendar and set it to fall Thursday at 5:00 PM. Right now, today, that’s the best time I can think of. It’s during my sons’ swim class. While I usually run or swim during my sons’ swim classes on Mon-Wed, on Thurs I generally just sit in the bleachers and I could certainly take my laptop, use my phone as a hotspot, and write. I’ll need to move that event around, for sure, but at least it’s on the schedule and will serve as a weekly reminder of my commitment to write.
Photo by Clémence Taillez on Unsplash