I think it’s fair to say that more often than not, a daily blog is for the writer.
The reason behind this is almost nobody reads a daily blog every single day.
There are occasional readers and regular readers but it’s rare to find someone who doesn’t miss a post.
Posting so often allows me to not put so much pressure on each thing I share, it also forces me to challenge myself.
I have posts that have never been read, perhaps the title wasn’t interesting enough or maybe you just weren’t interested. But from a totally different perspective, I posted another day and kept up my writing practice.
That matters to me more than trying to please the reader.
The creator of the habit loop determined that in order to change a habit you needed to change your routine. For example, drinking a glass of water when you crave a cigarette.
For the past 7 days I’ve been working to undo a habit. I didn’t consciously replace it with anything but I suppose I could say I’ve been writing instead.
By the time I got to the 7th day I found I had little interest in carrying out the habit I’d been trying to undo.
It served as a reminder that sometimes we get so caught up in doing things that we believe we’re stuck or that it will be a hard habit to break.
Granted this doesn’t apply to everything but I think it’s fair to say that not all habits are difficult to break.
In the moment missing a day of daily blogging feels like failure but in the grand scheme of things I know it’s not that bad.
If you look at it one way missing 8/365 days isn’t much at all.
But on the other hand can you really call yourself a daily blogger if you don’t post every single day.
When I first started daily blogging it really bothered me when I missed a day, mainly because it was never intentional. It frustrated me that I could forgot to post and not realise until the next day and by then it was too late.
Luckily, I’ve now realised that when you make a mistake if you focus on learning from it instead of getting mad at yourself it’s much less likely to happen again.
And of course this applies to so much more than just blogging
There’s a popular saying that goes ‘Slow progress is better than no progress’. I totally agree.
What we often do is rush because we want progress to be quick.
Perhaps this is because slow progress doesn’t feel like moving forward in the moment. It’s only, in a few weeks or months time that you’re able to see how far you’ve come.
This idea of choosing to rush instead of embracing slow progress can be applied to many scenarios, one of which is procrastination.
Dedicating a few days to get something done is often much more appealing than spending a few weeks doing something bit by bit.
But often we don’t have a few days spare, just a few moments each week.
And the great thing about slow progress is that it helps build a habit of long term commitment.
On the other hand when you rush you’re relying on adrenaline and cortisol, what your body releases as a response to stress which is great in the short-tun but not something you want to make a habit out of.
There are 2 ways of working.
The first is in batches, a couple of hours one or 2 times a week.
The second is bit by bit, day by day.
Many people find themselves picking one of the two ways thinking that it’s the best way of working.
But it turns out it depends on the work you’re doing and also the way you feel like working.
Last year I was focused on scheduling posts and there were times when I’d be scheduling a week of blog posts in one go.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been writing and publishing a blog post at the end of my day. At first it felt strange and I was frustrated that my batch blogging habit had fallen away.
However, from taking the bit by bit approach I’m enjoying blogging more. I spend moments of my day thinking about what I want to say and then I type it up at night. It feels like I’m creating a better writing practice because I’m clicking publish each day.
It’s not to say that the bit by bit approach is the best way of working. But what I can say is that it’s going pretty well for me right now.
I start each day with a gratitude practice of listing 10 things I am grateful for.
Things are changing quickly and becoming quite difficult in some ways. It can be difficult to keep up with gratitude through challenging times.
You might find yourself wondering what exactly there is to be grateful for in a time of such great uncertainty. But I find that if you focus on the good bits (no matter how small) there is always something to be grateful for. I have no doubt that before you know it you’ll have reached 10 things pretty easily.
It could be sunny weather, the people you live with, the food in your cupboards, your health, the smoothie you made, being able to communicate with loved ones far away, the fact that you’re able to work from home, the friend that sent you a song as a pick me up, the extra time you have now you’re no longer commuting to work or even your favourite (almost) daily blog.
It might be difficult to think of things when you’re fearful or overwhelmed but know that this the perfect time to put your daily gratitude practice into practice
So often, we’re afraid to be vulnerable and let people know where we’re at. In doing that you miss out on the opportunity to be supported by people that care.
What often ends up happening is you feel frustrated that there is no one to support you, not realising that you haven’t even given them a chance.
The best way to break this habit is to be more open when talking to the people that you know you can trust. Instead of having those Hey, how’s it going? Yeah, good thanks, you? types of conversations make the effort to be a little more vulnerable.
It might feel strange at first but when you talk to the right people they’ll listen to you and show support which is sometimes all you need. Your act of bravery might have a knock on effect because often you find that the other person will start to open up more too.
Which one are you?
The first kind is the one we all know and love (or perhaps just tolerate through excessive eye rolls). This person is problem focused. They find a problem with anything and everything.
What’s worse is if you offer a potential solution they’ll probably find a problem with that too.
The second person is solution focused. They’ll complain as a way to vent their frustrations but then they’ll move on and do something about it.
The first person never manages to progress nearly as much as the second.
It’s like a keystone habit but for moments.
A keystone habit is a term created by Charles Duhigg that was featured in his book The Power of Habit, in Duhiggs words it is ‘small changes or habits that people introduce into their routines that unintentionally carry over into other aspects of their lives’.
But what if that could be applied to moments that we experience.
Sometimes all it takes is a conversation to create a shift in perspective and if you follow that feeling it could end up changing your life for the better.
Imagine you’re pretty frustrated and uninspired by life then one day you meet someone and have a conversation about aspirations that moves you. So much so that you’re driven to make changes like start a project, spend more time with friends, make time for the people you live, go for that promotion at work, volunteer or pick up a hobby you’ve been meaning to try.
Chances are you have at least one conversation everyday so that perspective shifting moment could come at any time. However, it’s also important to not be too reliant on external factors in order to drive change in your life.
If you’re not happy with where you’re at you probably have some idea (no matter how vague) of the way you’d actually things to be.
You don’t need a stranger to prompt change in your life.