This is it. I have been blogging weekly for one solid year. Woo hoo! I have to say that when I started this, I wasn’t sure it I could do it. As my husband can tell you, I am not a quitter. In fact, I’ve been described as tenacious (on more than one occasion) but I was very uncertain when I started this blog, 52 weeks ago. The biggest lesson I have learned is, that I just need to show up. Showing up does not mean being “perfect”. It means putting one foot in front of the other; even when you are tired. It means writing when only 5 people have subscribed. It’s when you would much rather sleep in or surf Facebook. Trust – Just show up.
As Seth Godin says ,”Don’t just start. Continue. Ship. Repeat.” I thought the hardest step was starting. I have found out that repeat is the hardest step. It’s so easy to say, “Well, maybe this should be a bi-weekly blog, maybe monthly…maybe quarterly”. We’ve all been there. The goal, finish line starts to slide or fade. Excuses flood your brain. The Inner Dictator takes over and tells you that your stuff is just no good anyway. Trust me; you can win the battle if you just show up.
Here are some tips to help keep you on track:
1. Preparation. If you want to run a marathon, put your running shoes by your bed the night before. If you want to cook at home more, make a shopping list for the week. If you want to write a weekly blog, have a list of ideas to pick and choose from and make sure you are reading or listening or scanning the environment for ideas for that list. If you only wait for inspiration, you’ll be waiting a long time. Preparation is critical to showing up.
2. Routine. I block off 30 minutes every Tuesday and Thursday morning to write. I can set my watch by devoted runners in my neighborhood. “Oh, there’s Mike and his friends on a Sunday morning; must be 9 AM. Or – It’s six o’clock, I better see what I’m making for dinner from the pile of recipes I selected on Saturday.” If you have a routine, your body and mind are on auto pilot. You don’t even think about it (and there is no time for the Inner Dictator to protest). Once you have established the routine; it’s so much easier to show up for yourself.
3. Messy. Embrace some messiness. It won’t be perfect. So just get over it. It doesn’t have to be perfect. I’m not enthralled with every post I wrote, but overall, I am proud of the blog. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I am amazed that often, that the least “inspired” post gets tons of feedback. And the one I thought was a masterpiece, barely gets noticed. Sometimes, I think the post that is most from the heart has the best “legs” and the post that has been “primped, preened and edited to death” is ho-hum. Let it be messy; don’t be your own judge. Others will.
4. Neighbors. As in, quit worrying about your neighbors, and what they might say. As Eleanor Roosevelt said “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” Worrying about acceptance will grip you with fear. Maybe only one person reads the post, and no one else does. That’s fine. I remember being shocked when I realized about two months ago that my site had been clicked on from 46 different countries. 46! Global. I had no idea. Who knew I had so many “neighbors”.
5. End in mind. My best writing is when I am talking to someone. An ex boss, a client, a friend or my child; when I’m trying to inspire them to action. When I was training for a 10k, last year, I had the race in mind every day. When I’m planning for a dinner party; it’s the same thing. Imagine success. Breath it. Embody it. Be it. Keep the end in mind and you cannot fail.
6. Yes. Try to say yes to things that support your goals. Someone asks you to be on the panel of a Success Panel; say Yes. Invites you to a Peer-to Peer group an hour’s drive away; say Yes. Asks you to teach a Leadership class; say Yes. As Hunter S. Thompson said “Half of life is just showing up”. It might be a hassle. It might even be scary. It might stretch your comfort zone. You can’t get there unless you say Yes .
I couldn’t have shown up this last year without an audience. I thank all of you; from those who have read one or two posts to my ardent weekly readers. I appreciate all the feedback whether from my local Rotary club or from the middle of the Pacific via cyberspace.
What do you need to be showing up for?