I got a nice comment from Maria in regards to Plan Your Week:
I love this post! It really speaks to me and fits with my 30-day challenge this month to plan my weeks and days ahead… so far it has been rather bumpy and I’ve felt a bit like maybe this wasn’t the right challenge to pick? But this post has really encouraged me! Thanks Diane! I love what you wrote about making sure relational activities are part of my week – I so often end up forgetting that but the truth is – I cannot build a successful life without being connected and sharing life! 🙂
First of all, I want to thank Maria for the very encouraging comment. Secondly, her statement, “…so far it has been rather bumpy and I’ve felt a bit like maybe this wasn’t the right challenge…” reminded me of my sentiments during the first week or so of my July challenge (and frankly, every challenge since then, too). New habits never come easy that first couple of weeks. With every challenge, I find that I learn more of what not to do during the first 10 days than I learn what to do. I wrote about some of my July discoveries in Are You an Expert? and my August discoveries in Revelations from a 30-Day Challenge. Even though I’d like to be successful from Day 1, I am learning that the first week or so is more of a deconstruction period followed, thankfully, by a building period.
So for Maria and anyone else out there who may be discouraged at your lack of momentum, tweak your perspective. Instead of looking at your progress thus far as “bumpy” and unfruitful, assume the Thomas Edison viewpoint: “If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.”
As for my challenge to “work every day on improving my blog site,” I haven’t broken the chain yet. Part of the secret to my success is that I am not being so demanding of myself. Sometimes I have a tendency to discredit my efforts because they aren’t “big enough.” One day I had not done anything towards improving my blog but read a couple of articles to add to my knowledge base. For a moment, I thought about considering that day a loss, but I quickly changed my mind. I remembered the very thing that got this 30-day challenge thing startedin the first place was an article I read that said, “Just do it [start posting to your blog]. Start with 250 words, or even 100 if you have to. Okay, if you can’t do that…write a daily quote…” (from “7 Habits of Highly Effective Bloggers”). The point is, small steps taken regularly do add up. So I am not discounting any of my small steps.
I am also being very careful to record my progressthis month—no relying on my memory! This has made me more accountable to the process.
You cannot yet see any of my blog improvements, because most of my work thus far has been in learning (by reading). Hopefully, I am on the verge of actually making a visible change or two to the site. The one visible thing that I have done towards improving my blog is not on my blog but on Facebook. I am daily posting an interesting fact or a helpful tip on the MyPleasantPlaces “fan page.” It seems to be stirring up a little activity. If you are not a follower on Facebook, you can click this link—MyPleasantPlaces—and “like” (thumbs up sign) and stay abreast of what is going on there, OR you can make it easy on yourself and click the “like” button in the sidebar of the Home Page (which is probably where you are right now as you read this!). The posts on Facebook do not necessarily relate to any particular post here on MPP; it is usually just a sampling of the kinds of things I post about. I have already posted a couple of very helpful links to other websites that you might find helpful.
I would love to hear how your 30-day challenge is going. Leave me a comment.