Monday, December 12, 2011

Setting the bar

A week ago, I started my own personal challenge to myself with the "262 or more" effort. The idea simply was to motivate myself to write at a minimum of 262 words and publish daily through the rest of the month. Why 262? I thought a play on the marathon distance (26.2) would be fun and even 262 words would force me to sit down and write on a daily basis. Once I got my first post up in this effort, I received feedback saying that only having to write 262 words per day seemed like such a low bar to reach and would be easily achievable. I began to mull this over and thought that although in one person’s eyes the bar I set for myself might be low, for me it was a reasonable goal. Even in only a week’s time, I have learned several things.

First, the commitment to write the bare minimum amount of words per day has forced me to write for at least 15-30 minutes a day. This means that I have to carve out time each day to meet my goal. A little less surfing the tubes of the Internet and a few minutes less of TV watching and Walla...time to write! I liken it to starting an exercise regime or anything else you are trying to make a habit in that you have to make a commitment to doing it on a consistent basis. That is the only way that it can become a habit.

Secondly, forcing myself to publish each day gives me a sense of accountability. It would be very easy for me to say that I met my goal if I were to just write in a journal or keep the document saved in Evernote. However, if I post in on the blog, then there it is as a means of record clearly indicating whether or not I met my daily goal. I am not saying that I am writing anything that is really worth reading, but again, it holds me accountable.

Perhaps, the biggest thing though that I have learned so far, is that the wheels are turning to come up with a topic that I want to write about on a daily basis. There is a sense of excitement as I look at or read things and wonder if I can generate something based off of that. So far, I have started each day with a blank slate and then started to write with an idea that comes to mind. As I continue to write daily, more and more topics seem to pop up and I have started a list from which to draw off of.

In setting the bar, I certainly did not think that in a week's time that I would start to see dividends like I have. However, because I set the bar at a reasonable level, I am continually feeling like I am successful everyday and that just builds the momentum to keep going. Setting the bar where I can achieve success only means that I will be ready to jump a little higher the next time.

No comments: