We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle
I told a few friends of mine that I have been writing articles in this blog on a consistent basis. I mentioned that I have written 2 articles per week during 2015 and my goal for 2016 is to write at least 1 article per week and they looked this as something way too easy and underestimated it. I agree with them that it is not that hard to write 1 article per week, but I think here we are dealing with something much broader.
First of all, I am not a full time writer, and I do not intend to be. I simply started to write because I needed to improve the quality of my written English and public blog posts seemed a reasonable and a challenging endeavor that I started pursuing. Once I got into writing with this schedule, I soon realized that I started to find it pleasurable to write consistently, and to share my thoughts online about different topics. Besides improving my writing skills, I started learning and improving my own self based upon the advice that I wrote about in my blog. I believe that I should follow something that I tell somebody else to do, and as a result of writing about different productivity tricks, I have found myself to benefit from my writing, though I am not able to always apply what I write about. Although, the current quality of my writing is something not worthy of being praised, I do believe that I have made considerable progress since I started this journey.
We overestimate what we can do in a week, but we underestimate what we can do in a month. If I were to set for myself a goal of writing every single day, hoping that I will benefit more that way, I think that I would eventually abandon that habit, because I set the bar too high. Not being able to reach the objective of daily writing would turn into guilt which would produce a lot of stress and I would most probably quit that goal. Since I am not a full time writer, but I write because I like it and want to keep it as a hobby, I believe that I made the right decision. Writing not very frequently, but consistently was a pivotal approach that has influenced me to think about other areas of life which I could improve using this same approach.
We are trapped into a fixed mindset of thinking that we are obliged to do something very big since the beginning, which we can start for a few days but we eventually stop, as we have not been able to form habits to keep up the pace. As the famous Personal Development speaker, Jim Rohn used to say, “Things that are easy to do are easy not to do.”
Rather than being too hyped up about a big goal that you have, consider how you could make actionable steps toward it small enough that you would do. Instead of thinking of writing a whole new chapter of a new book, think about writing one paragraph of it once a day. Sometimes you might just feel better and motivated and you end up writing 2-3 pages. Start small and it most probably will expand as you go.