Starting Over

BooksI used to loved to have books read to me when I was a little girl. I never grew tired of Dr. Seuss or Where the Wild Things Are or any of a dozen of my favorite books. I’m sure many people have the same sort of memories.

I also remember not liking anything to interrupt having a book read to me. Sometimes the phone would ring or my dad needed help finding something or my sister would otherwise distract my mother while she was reading to me. My mom would go take care of the matter at hand and return to finish the book. Only problem was, I didn’t like having my special reading time interrupted. As my mom would start to pick up where she left off reading, I would turn back to the beginning of the book and demand that she start over again. It just wasn’t the same to start and stop over and over again. Those little books were meant to be enjoyed in one sitting.

When I was a bit older my mom and I would read longer books together. I learned to look forward to the next daily installment of Annie curled up with Mom on her water bed.

Now here’s the truth: Life is full of distractions. As a mother of a six-month old, I know this all too well. As I write this post I’m sitting in the dark nursing the baby to sleep and “typing” with my index finger on my Droid. I’ll publish the post in the morning. My life is in chunks now instead of a continuous stream. When my son was born my mother told me, “You’ll never eat a hot meal again.” I’m OK with that.

The purpose of this blog is to make positive changes one habit at a time. This latest challenge: Write 1,000 words/day for 21 days is a big one for me. I believe that writing is a key to unlocking many of my dreams. That shelf of books I want to write will not happen without a lot of 1,000-word days. It’s not just about writing books for the sake of writing books. Writing serves many purposes for me:

  • Journaling is a tremendous emotional release
  • Gratitude lists keep me positive
  • Blogging gives me a chance to help others
  • Writing articles and books can do all of the above
  • Thoughtful emails and notes (even text messages and status updates) keep me connected to people I care about
  • Writing can even sometimes bring me money (especially if it’s an invoice or a proposal)

There are tons of reasons to write.

Fifteen days ago I set a goal to write 1,000 words a day. I’m here to tell you that I may have come close to that two or three times so far. I have to say that the mere fact of having the goal has encouraged me to write more (my Facebook friends can attest to an increase in my updates and replies). However, it’s not enough: not considering how central writing is to meeting so many of my other goals.

I am officially declaring a fresh start to the 1,000 words/day challenge. If you’ve already been able to stick to it, great! Leave a comment and tell us how you’ve done it so far. If not, join me for a fresh start, starting right now.

Twenty-one days of 1,000 words/day starts now.

Although I did enjoy reading a little bit of Annie every day with my Mom, I don’t think we ever finished the book. I know that life has to be taken in small pieces most of the time. Writing 1,000 words/day (minimum) is going to mean typing in the dark or with a baby tugging at my hands as I peck at the keyboard. It’s worth it. 1,000 words/day is the small bite. It’s also sitting down and reading the little book  from start to finish because that’s how it’s meant to be done.


Do it Now!

Try It For 21Is there something you’ve been meaning to do, but just haven’t gotten around to doing it yet? Procrastinate no more!

The next 21 days are about ACTION! The challenge: Do something you don’t want to do (or that you think you don’t have time to do), that will ultimately improve your life, for 15 minutes each day.

Some examples might include:

  • Exercise
  • Call an old friend or family member
  • Clean the basement, closet, garage, or other area
  • Write out your goals
  • Write a book
  • Balance your checkbook
  • Try a new hobby
  • Pamper yourself
  • Have fun

The point is that when you want something done, you don’t have to do it all at once. Just take 15 minutes/day for 21 days. At the end of 21 days, you will have spent 5.25 hours improving your life. If your new habit continues, by the end of one year, you will have spent 91.21 hours moving closer to your goals. Sounds much better than where you’d be if you spent no time (which is nowhere).