I hope the first of the month means good things to you like a time to start fresh, to clear the slate and focus on something new—on whatever you consider important.
I also hope you missed me last month (on the blog, that is). I did not post as often as normal, and certainly not as often as I wanted to. I encountered some crises this past month, and those, in part, affected my writing and my last 30-day challenge. I did find the time to write about that in The Agony of Defeat. After that post, I was able to recoup to an extent and finished out the month fairly strong, but still not with the bang I usually do.
Therefore, my 30-day challenge this month is the same as for last month: I will work every day on writing and/or researching for my first e-book.
About challenges… And the first of the year/month… And goals… I’ve been thinking about these a lot lately. I am feeling the need to shake things up a bit. I’m not quite sure how or what I am going to do, but this is how “change” begins for me. It starts as a little agitating thought that I can’t seem to shake. It nags at me regularly. I find myself thinking about it at all times of the day and night. I might even journal about it a little here and there. Finally, it begins to take a form that I am able to articulate and put into writing. Until then, all I can do is to continue to let it grow within me.
I will share with you one tiny little part of my thought processes to this point. In my most recent 30-day challenge (the one in which I did so poorly), because of the nature of my month (the crises that I mentioned), I was often unable to put any honest effort into the e-book. But, in keeping with the spirit of the challenge, I made a jab at doing something. Many times this consisted of doing nothing more than copying and pasting an old blog post into the software program I am using for the e-book, reading over the post quickly, making a couple of notes on it, and closing the computer for the night. That’s OK on occasion, as it is something. However, doing the bare minimum day after day just to be able to check the challenge off my to do list started to conflict with my internal value system, which is: “whatever you do, do it with all your heart…”
There are days—such as days of crisis—when doing the bare minimum is fully acceptable, because it shows perseverance in the midst of difficulty. But to operate at a “minimum required standard” level on a regular basis starts to create a habit of mediocrity and laziness rather than a habit of perseverance and excellence. So, over the course of a month, that level of “commitment” (or lack thereof) in a 30-day challenge can actually work against you rather than for you. You end up reinforcing negative habits rather than building positive ones.
As I renew last month’s challenge this month, I do so with these thoughts in mind. Yes, I will allow myself the “bare minimum” on those days that are full of other commitments. But I am consciously going to avoid that minimal standard on a regular basis. I don’t want to reinforce mediocrity. I want to press towards excellence in all that I set my mind to do. If it’s worth doing at all, it’s worth doing right.
What is your 30-day challenge this month? Please leave me a comment and fill me in. As for last month, I’d love to hear how you did on your 30-day challenge, as well. By the way, do you realize that even if you fulfill your challenge every single day this month, you still won’t complete a 30-day challenge? It’s February!