What I learned through writing every day in November

Many of you know that I chat to Beth, my accountability partner and friend, every week.

On Thursday 1 November, I’d only completed my personal goals from the previous week and no blog goals, which all involved writing.

On a whim, I mentioned to Beth that I wondered if I could still actually write every day. And right there and then, I decided to try.

You see years ago, for five years in a row, I blogged 324 or more times every year. For two of those years, I blogged every single day.

Also, here on Organising Queen, I’ve twice participated in the 31 days series – once I wrote about easy organising solutions, and the other time I wrote about having enough time.

It is never hard for me to write, especially if I know what I want to write about, so I thought I’d give it a bash again.

So what did I do differently and what have I learned?

  1. I set two daily reminders in my phone – one at 6 pm and another from 8 – 8.30 to come write. The 6pm reminder was to start thinking about what I want to write about. And the 8pm reminder was to actually sit down and write.
  2. I used a habits page (I have no idea where I found it – I’d printed off a whole year long ago and not used all of the monthly pages) to cross off my progress daily. I also recorded my progress on my Instagram stories every 3 – 5 days, or thereabouts.
  3. I was conscious about my “difficult days” – weekends when I’m too relaxed, and Tuesday nights when I’m exhausted from my two dance classes, and so I made sure to have something easy to write about on those days. This was a great idea.
  4. I brainstormed some topics at the start of the month. I ended up with 17 topics but as is often the case, I’ve since deleted about 5 that sounded far too boring even to me, and added a couple of others. I scanned my book notes from recent non-fiction I’ve read to see if there was anything I really wanted to blog about.
  5. The point was just to write, not to create beautiful blog posts. Some nights I just wrote; most of them I also added photos and tags for a blog post. Having my standards low meant that I actually got things done instead of obsessing about perfection.

A few notes:

I’m an Upholder on Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies framework so strategies that work REALLY well for me are clarity, scheduling, pairing and monitoring.

Clarity – I very clearly defined what “success” on this project would look like – actual writing on a keyboard for 15 minutes, and having my blog post ideas list

Scheduling – reminders in my phone

Pairing – I knew that at 6pm I’d be home from work but low energy, so the first reminder would go off while I was cooking or otherwise having a cup of tea with the kids (I could start thinking about my topic) and the second reminder was just after the kids went to bed (well, in theory)

Monitoring – I was checking off my list of blog post ideas as I completed writing, and also the occasional posting to Instagram stories, and my weekly accountability chat with Beth.

Any upholders out there? Did my approach resonate with you too?

How about the other tendencies? What would your approach have been for creating this new habit.

You can do the same for any habit you want to create either now or in the new year. I will help you clarify your tendency, and put structures in place during our coaching session.

Please contact me as soon as possible to schedule your coaching session as I only coach a limited number of sessions weekly.

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Comments

  1. You are so different and I find this so incredibly interesting and to be honest a little strange (in a good way). I am fascinated by these things you seem to “make” yourself do. I have read your blogs long enough to know that you don’t feel forced to do any of this, and you enjoy it. This would drive me batty. I cannot live with rules like that, even if I made it myself. It gives me stress.

    • I cannot recall exactly when I found you, Marcia, but it was before the twins. I have followed you because you are so intentional about living your best life and that has always been my North. My compass points me toward intentional everyday, I allow distractions and I have a deep desire to be one more like you. The things you write about sound like home to me. I am comforted by your methods and feel good when I try them, yet I don’t feel guilt because I do them imperfectly. You taught me that. I am grateful you do this work. Thank you. I am the rebel. I don’t care to.be, yet that is what I am!

      • Marcia Francois says:

        Sheila-Jo, this is the best comment ever. I love it! It really made my day when it came through and I thank you for validating my work and for leaving such kind words to encourage me.

    • Marcia Francois says:

      LOL I know you find me strange; it’s the upholder-ness. It’s true I don’t feel forced at all because I’m doing the “rule-setting”.

  2. I love your use of Gretchen’s tools (I’m a big fan of pairing to get myself to do things).

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